State prosecutors have dragged the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of K. Ofori Limited and three others to court for allegedly evading tax to the tune of GH¢1.6 billion since 2013.
Frank Kwadwo Ofori, together with Hani Mikati, Marwam Hamwi and Sallam Mohammed Gharib, all officials of United Steel Company, were slapped with conspiracy to commit crime, namely fraudulent evasion of tax when they appeared before an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Ms Afua Owusua Appiah last Thursday.
K. Ofori Limited with headquarters in Accra and branches in many parts of the country deals in building materials while United Steel Company is a steel fabrication company in Tema.
The accused persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail in the sum of GH¢1 million each with three sureties to be justified.
As part of the bail conditions, they are to deposit their passports at the court’s registry.
They have also been directed to report to the police every two weeks.
They will reappear in court on June 8, this year.
Presenting the facts of the case, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Sylvester Asare said earlier this year, the security agencies picked up information regarding the unlawful activities of the accused persons including fraudulent evasion of tax and money laundering.
He said further intelligence revealed that the officers of United Steel Company developed a scheme apparently to evade taxes and disguised the proceeds in Ghana and abroad.
ASP Asare said pursuant to the preceding scheme and to facilitate the unlawful activities, Ofori incorporated a company by name Kwadwo Boakye Enterprise (KBE), which was made an agent for United Steel Company.
Consequently, the prosecution said, surveillance was mounted on the activities of the accused persons and on April 29, this year, they were picked up.
During a search at the offices of the United Steel Company and the residence of Mikati, about 15 signed cheque books without face value from five separate banks in the name of KBE were found.
The prosecutor said preliminary investigations established that the accused persons, through their unlawful activities, had fraudulently evaded taxes to the tune of GH¢1.6 billion between 2013 and April 2021 and had concealed and disguised the proceeds into investments in the country and abroad.