|Audio Attachment:Listen to John Jinapor in an interview from Ethiopia on Peace FM's "kokrokoo' programme.|
The office of the President has debunked reports from Ghana and in the international media that sought to suggest that 1.5 tons of Ghana’s gold, which was said to be heading for the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been seized in Turkey.
The gold, worth some $80million, according to the Danquah Institute (DI), a pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) think tank, is said to be Ghana's financial commitments to Iran over a transaction, details of which are not known to the public.
But responding to the allegations, spokesperson of President John Dramani Mahama, John Jinapor (JJ) said the claims by the DI are false.
"...the story is not true," he said.
The DI, issued a statement disclosing that Turkish authorities had seized the 1.5 tons of gold in a Turkish Airline cargo plane bound for Dubai en route to Instanbul’s Ataturk Airport in Turkey and has demanded that President Mahama comes out to explain.
They (DI) believe that there is something fishy about the whole transaction, since it was done on the blind side of Ghanaians.
Speaking in an interview on ‘Kokrokoo’ on PEACEFM, John Jinapor said his checks have disclosed that the story is nothing but pure falsehood.
"First of all, Ghana doesn’t settle financial transactions with gold and so it cannot be the case.
"Secondly, government does not sell gold and so it is not true that there has been such an involvement. We’ve spoken to the governor of Bank of Ghana and Seth Terkper and they have all confirmed that the story is not true.
"There is no truth that the government of Ghana has taken gold somewhere and it has been confiscated.
"I can confirm that so far all the checks I have done and all the authorities I have spoken to indicates that the story being alleged is false…",he said.
Meanwhile, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, Executive Director of the Danquah Institute has expressed disappointment at the utterances of the President’s spokesperson.
According to him, “as a government spokesperson, he should know better” because the story was not sourced from the offices of the DI but from foreign news agencies both in Iran and Turkey.
“The story was reported by the Turkish official news agency and it was even carried by Mehr News Agency(MNA) and so this cannot be concocted. What he has said is even more worrying: for him to deny that government has no knowledge of the issue...he has raised more questions than answers. He shouldn’t use his ignorance to discredit the story he knows nothing about. The information he gave is wrong…” he said.
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