A UK-Ghanaian citizen, Mark Arthur, was placed under investigations in London for alleged money laundering. His crime – carrying out a huge cash transaction for the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Otumfuo gave Arthur £350,000 in cash in a bag and told him to deposit it at the Ghana International Bank where he worked as an executive director.
Arthur carried the bag filled with money to his house, then chartered a Uber taxi to take him to the Bank where he deposited the money in Otumfuo’s account. He also carried out a separate instruction, to transfer $200,000 to an account at Standard Bank in Jersey.
The two ‘suspicious’ transactions were flagged by the bank, triggering a money laundering alert and leading to Mr Arthur being fired after an investigation.
He was accused of failing to follow anti money laundering practices and of violating security policies in carrying such huge sums of money around. Arthur claims he had to carry out Otumfuo’s instructions due to his status and that the transactions were sanctioned by [Ghana International Bank] CEO Joseph Mensah.
“Without a policy to follow and did without wishing to offend a sovereign of my country, I found myself in a very difficult situation and one I had never been in before.” he said in his witness statement.
“I could not carry out the necessary due diligence by talking to His Majesty so decided it would be best to verify the deposits at the bank and to speak directly to Mr Mensah rather than disrespect His Majesty in a face-to-face meeting.”
Arthur is appealing his dismissal.