TOR boss, Asante Berko, resigns … President Akufo-Addo accepts

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Embattled Tema Oil Refinery Managing Director, Asante Berko, has today presented his resignation letter to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with the President accepting the resignation.

A statement from the Presidency said: “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, received the resignation from office of Mr. Asante Berko as Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). This was after he submitted his resignation letter, dated April 15, 2020.

President Akufo-Addo has accepted Mr. Asante Berko’s resignation, and duly notified the Board of Directors of TOR of this development. The President wished him well in his future endeavours,” the statement, signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Presidency, said.

Background

Mr. Berko is facing charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), of the United States of America for breaching the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, (FCPA). Asante Berko, until his appointment as the Managing Director of TOR, was a banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

According to reports from the US regulators and information from a civil suit, he made arrangements for some millions of dollars to be paid as bribes to some Ghanaian government officials to help a client win a power-plant contract in Ghana.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission said Asante Berko, a former employee at a subsidiary of the U.S. lender, arranged the bribes for a Turkish energy company to funnel the money to a Ghana-based intermediary, which then paid the local officials.

“Goldman Sachs fully cooperated with the SEC’s investigation and as stated by the SEC in its press release, the firm’s compliance personnel took appropriate steps to prevent the firm from participating in the transaction,” company spokeswoman Nicole Sharp said.

“Berko helped the Ghana-based intermediary pay more than $200,000 in bribes to various other government officials, and personally paid more than $60,000 to members of the Ghanaian parliament and other government officials, the SEC statement said, adding that Berko took deliberate measures to prevent his employer from detecting the bribery scheme,” a statement by the US authorities noted.

But Mr. Berko has denied all the charges in a press statement yesterday.

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