Ghanaians express worry as Ofori-Atta’s name pops up in ‘Paradise Papers’

Ghanaians express worry as Ofori-Atta’s name pops up in ‘Paradise Papers’

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Some Ghanaians have expressed worry about the alleged dealings of the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta who is  a cousin to the President involvement in tax evasion activities.

The alleged report has it that, the finance minister was in partnership with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson.

This is coming on the heels of the controversy surrounding the $2.5billion bond on which a petition is currently pending at the US Securities and Exchanges Commission.

As the Finance Minister, who is the custodian of government finances, financial institutions and tax related policies, some argue that he may have lost the moral authority for himself for allegedly operating an offshore account purposely to evade tax.

For his integrity as the finance Minister being called into question, Ghanaians are calling on him to come out and speak to the leaks.

The Paradise Papers, released on Sunday November 5, 2017 by the group of international investigative journalists reveals the offshore links of some of the globe’s most prominent figures.

According to the report, both Ken Ofori-Atta and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who are co-founders of Databank allegedly used their control in the investment firm to illicitly transfer money to an offshore company in Bermuda.

The files leaked by The Paradise Papers, a special investigation by the Guardian and 95 media partners worldwide, reveals the soft-spoken Ken Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta, now Ghana’s Finance Minister, was a co-founder of Databank and a co-director, with Johnson Sirleaf, of Songhai Financial Holdings; a subsidiary of Databank’s finance, fund management and investment company Databank Brokerage Ltd.

According to offshoreleaks.icij.org, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, though had resigned before forming her government in 2006, her resignation from Songhai Financial Holdings did not take effect until 2012 due to “an administrative oversight” in Bermuda.

“Stephen D. Cashin, chief executive of Pan African Capital and a board member of Databank, responded to a request for comment from Sirleaf-Johnson that Songhai was designed for offshore investors to invest in Ghana’s Databank and that Databank had no business in Liberia. Sirleaf-Johnson was elected to the board of Databank before being elected president, he told ICIJ, and she has no interest in Songhai or Databank.”

It is instructive to note that traditional tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Bermuda, and several others have gained a notorious reputation of tax evasion amidst other financial crimes.

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