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Mr. Kweku Asante Berko, the Managing Director of Tema Oil Refinery has tendered in his resignation on Wednesday, 15th April 2020, to the President following allegations he facilitated the payment of bribes to some persons in government as well as parliamentarians between 2015 and 2016 in a power deal.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has accepted the resignation of Mr. Asante Berko as Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) after the former put forward the letter.

A statement from the presidency signed by the Communications Director, Eugene Arhin read;

Background

The Managing Director for Tema Oil Refinery, TOR has been charged by 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 sums of money, amounting in millions of dollars as bribes to be paid to some Ghanaian government officials to help a client win a power-plant contract in Ghana.

The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Asante Berko, a former executive at Goldman's London subsidiary, facilitated as much as $4.5 million in bribes to help a Turkish energy company win a contract to build a power plant. The SEC says the energy company, which wasn't named, funnelled money to an intermediary, which then paid bribes to Ghanaian government officials.

The payment was allegedly made to gain approval for a client’s power plant project from “2015 through at least 2016,” according to court documents from New York.

The government officials, along with the companies, are not named in the court documents.

The local company then allegedly made the payments to government officials.

From approximately 2015 through at least 2016 (the “relevant period”), while employed at the Subsidiary [Goldman Sachs Group Inc], Berko schemed to bribe various government officials in the Republic of Ghana (“Ghana”) so that a client of the Subsidiary, a Turkish Energy Company (the “Energy Company”), would win a contract (the “Power Purchase Agreement”) to build and operate an electrical power plant in Ghana and sell the power to the Ghanaian government (the “Power Plant Project” or “Project”).”

Mr. Berko is reported to have arranged for the Energy Company to funnel between $3 million to $4.5 million to a Ghana-based intermediary company “to bribe various government officials responsible for approving the Power Plant Project.”

The Energy Company is said to have transferred at least $2.5 million of the planned $3 million to $4.5 million to the Intermediary Company.

“All or most of which was used to bribe Ghanaian government officials,” the court documents noted.

In addition to the bribes paid through the intermediary company, Mr. Berko also paid bribes to some Members of Parliament.

“By August 2015, Berko had paid bribes of at least $66,000 to members of the Ghanaian parliament and other government officials in his effort to obtain approval for the Power Plant Project.”

Mr. Berko is said to have also helped the Intermediary company pay smaller bribes, “totalling approximately $210,000, to various other government officials involved in the Power Plant Project.”

“These included bribes to a Ghanaian government official (“Government Official 2”) who assisted Government Official 1 on the Project, employees at the Ministry of Power who provided confidential information to the Intermediary Company concerning the Project, government engineers who assessed the Energy Company’s technology, and officials at other government agencies who reviewed the Project.”

The court documents said Mr. Berko was paid $2 million for “facilitating the bribery scheme.”

“Following his departure from the Subsidiary, Berko began providing consulting services for the Energy Company,” the documents also noted.

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