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Sale of Drillship: GoG’s $3.5m ‘uncovered’

dril shipThe New Crusading GUIDE in its October 14, 2013 edition, reported that the tracking efforts of its Business Desk had led to the “location” of the $3.5 million paid to the Government of Ghana (GoG) out of the $24 million purchase price of GNPC’s drillship, Discoverer 511 following the settlement of the dispute with the French Bank, Societe Generale in July 2001.

The October 14, 2013 story sourcing highly-placed sources at the Ghana International Bank (GIB), London, further indicated that the $3.5 million Banker’s Draft had been forwarded to the Government of Ghana (GoG) Accounts at Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, on July 26, 2001 upon instruction by the Bank of Ghana (BoG). We also promised to provide “further and better particulars” in due course to support the story under reference.

Today’s publication is in fulfillment of that promise. Attached below is a documentary proof of the financial trail relative to the issuance of the $3.5 million Banker’s Draft, its transmission to Chase Manhattan Bank, New York via the Ghana International Bank (GIB) and related information.

The evidence on the face of the cheque indicates that the ISSUING OFFICE was BARCLAYS BANK PLC, 1 WIMBORNE ROAD POOLE DORSET BH15 2BB, LONDON, UK; CHEQUE NO: 01953801(1-257/260); DATE OF ISSUE: EIGHTEENTH(18TH) JULY 2001; PAY TO THE ORDER OF : GOVERNMENT OF GHANA; AMOUNT: THE SUM OF US DOLLAR THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND ONLY(US$3500000.00); BY ORDER OF CONSTANT & CONSTANT SOLICITORS( TO: BARCLAYS BANK PLC(ABA 0260),222 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10038).

A critical examination of the attached transmission record indicates the $3.5 million was “PLACED TO THE CREDIT OF PAYEES ACCOUNT WITH US” and duly signed by a senior official of the Ghana International Bank (GIB), London, Mr. Mark Arthur. It  was subsequently transmitted to Chase Manhattan Bank,55 Water St. N.Y.C. N.Y. ” FOR DEPOSIT ONLY TO THE ACCOUNT OF 544714062, GHANA INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC” on July 26, 2001.

There are other fine details on the transmission document which financial  analysts and banking professionals would have no difficulty in comprehending and explaining if and when necessary. The bottom line at this stage is that our financial trail or tracking has shown that contrary to speculation in some media and political circles that the $3.5 million might have been squandered by some officials of the Kufuor Administration, the entire amount in the form of the Banker’s Draft was transmitted to and deposited into a Government of Ghana (GoG) official account at the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York. The latter bank, we are reliably informed, is now known as JP MORGAN BANK.

Readers would recall that The New Crusading GUIDE in its Tuesday, 29th October, 2013 edition, provided documentary proof of the receipt of $19.5 million by Societe Generale (SG) on 16th July 2001, in settlement of its dispute with GNPC. That “Payment Order” from the Den norske Bank ASA, London Branch, which was signed by Anthony Manston-Edwards and Christopher Tregoning (both as Authorised Signatories) read: “We hereby irrevocably and unconditionally confirm that we have telegraphically remitted the following payment :

*Amount: US$19,500,000.00

*Value Date: 16 July, 2001

*Beneficiary: Societe Generale

*Account No: Societe Generale New York

*SWIFT SOGEUS33

*Favour: Societe Generale, Paris

*SWIFT: SOGEFRPPHCM

*ACCOUNT: 150371

*Ref: OPER/CTY/COT/BAC

* By Order Of: Frontier Drilling ASA

* Details: Part Settlement of purchase price of “DISCOVERER 511”.

As indicated the “Payment Order” under reference, was formally addressed to Societe Generale, 17, Cours Valmy, 92987, Paris La Defense, France.

The above details clearly corroborated the assertions made by Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah and Mr. K. T. Hammond that the French Bank, Societe Generale had received $19.5m “in full and final settlement” of its dispute with GNPC in July 2001. They also bury the cloud of doubt generated by the testimony of Mr. GIlbert Hie, the Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale, Accra, Ghana, at the Judgment Debt Commission to the effect that SG had no records showing that they(SG) were indeed paid $19.5m in July 2001.

Mr. Hie had explained that by French Law, documents were required to be kept for a maximum of 10 years, beyond which the law did not require them to continue keeping the documents/records, and was therefore not surprised that the documents/records could not be found. This testimony given on September 17, 2013, raised serious ” credibility and integrity challenges” for Mr. Kan Dapaah, Mr. K.T. Hammond and the Kufuor Administration relative to the sale of GNPC’s drillship, D511 in July 2001.

Meanwhile, an “Addendum 1” to a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)  dated 20th June, 2001 between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation(GNPC) as Sellers and Frontier Drilling ASA as Buyers, sighted by The New Crusading GUIDE, in apparent reference to Clause 3 of the MoA, indicated that it had been agreed that “(a) payment shall be made by way of one Payment Letter in favour of Societe Generale in the amount of US$ 19,500,000 and one Payment Letter in favour of Constant & Costant in the amount of US$ 4,500,000; (b) US$ 900,000 shall be kept in escrow between Sellers and Buyers on the clients account of Constant & Constant, on terms as described on the attached Solicitors’ Undertaking from Constant & Constant dated 10 July 2001”.

Also published /scanned on page two (2) of this edition is a “Payment Order “for $ 4.5m dated July 16, 2001, issued by Frontier Drilling ASA via Den norske Bank, London branch and credited to Constant & Constant, the Solicitors of the Sellers (GNPC), in line with June 20, 2001 Memorandum of Agreement (MoA).

The “Payment Order” read as follows:”We hereby irrevocably and unconditionally confirm that we have effected the following payment:-

*Amount: US$4, 500, 000.00

*Value Date: 16th July 2001

*Bank Details:Barclays Bank plc, Crawley, Sussex

*Sort Code:20-24-00

*Beneficiary: Constant and Constant

*Account No. 59691155

*By Order of :Frontier Drilling ASA

*Details: Part Settlement of purchase price of “Discoverer 511”

This “Payment Order” was signed by Anthony Manston Edwards and Christopher Tregoning, the same persons who signed the “Payment Order” issued to Societe Generale on July 16, 2001.

The “Addendum 1” dated 10 July 2001 was signed by Morten Lund Mathisen(Attorney-in-Fact for the Buyers, Frontier Drilling ASA) and K.T. Hammond (Attorney-in-Fact for  the Sellers, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation). It was witnessed by Anthony Burton of Constant & Constant.

The US$ 900,000 mutually agreed by the Sellers and Buyers to be kept in an escrow account was to settle a number of claims and debts in respect of the D511 for “crew wages, port charges, services, supplies, agency feeds and other outgoings ( together “the Outstanding”) are unpaid and will remain unpaid at the time of the delivery of the Vessel to you(Frontier Drilling)”.

The GNPC had submitted a “tall list” of the D511’s Creditors as at June 30, 2001 a copy of which is in our possession. The following amounts were stated as “outstanding” and in need of quick settlement;USD 832,892.60, GBP 16,147.64 and Euro 155.00. At a conversion rate of Euro@$0.70/Euro($198.58) and GBP@$1.60/GBP($25,836.22), the total amount in United States Dollars came to  $858,837.32.

The New Crusading Guide promises publish more documentary evidence on GNPC’s dealings with Societe Generale and the sale of the Discoverer 511.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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