The $80 million gold deal which has attracted a media frenzy in Ghana could be a scam, National Security Coordinator Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey suspects.
He says preliminary investigations into the 1.5 tons of gold hauled from Ghana and intercepted by Turkish authorities had indicated that the deal bore all the marks of a scam.
“My gut feeling about this whole thing is that it is a scam, that (substance) is not real gold; eventually we will come to that [conclusion]”, Gbevlo Lartey told Joy FM's Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Thursday February 14, 2013.
He said basic questions about the haulage would throw up sufficient doubts about whether the cargo found in the flight was actually gold.
"You want to find out if those guys who exported this gold are miners of gold; do they really have a mine? Do they have a record of exporting gold? Will they all of a sudden come up with such huge quantities of gold that they could export"? he asked.
Even more germane to his doubts are the documents accompanying the gold. He said the documents from the Geological Survey Department showed that the items were simply rock samples for laboratory purposes. The items, according to the documents, had no commercial value.
He said if the exporters were indeed exporting gold, "why did they go for such a documentation saying that these are rock samples and that they are for laboratory purposes only and that they have no commercial value."
Reports of the 80 million dollars worth of Ghana’s gold being transported to Iran first appeared in the media in late January.
Turkish News Agency, Anatolia had reported that the plane transporting the gold was grounded for lack of proper documentation.
The deal was linked to government but President John Mahama denied any knowledge of the haulage and ordered investigations into the saga.
Investigators have so far caused the arrest of a number of persons connected with the deal which Col. Lartey suspects is a scam.