Death threats, lawsuits can’t deter COPEC from prosecuting BOST at EOCO – Duncan Amoah
The Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, Ghana (COPEC), Mr Duncan Amoah has indicated that threats of death and defamation lawsuits against him will not deter the chamber from ensuring that the right things are done to stop corruption in the petroleum sector.
Accordingly, he has indicated the chamber's readiness to proceed to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor with evidence on allegations of causing financial loss against the Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST), Mr Alfred Obeng Boateng.
“I will soon drag these people [BOST and its MD] before the EOCO, before the Special Prosecutor, before the Police CID to investigate this crime against the good people of Ghana,” he said in a radio interview on Class FM on Tuesday.
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Explaining the allegation, Mr Amoah said crude was brought in by BOST for TOR [Tema Oil Refinery] to process.
TOR, he said, was to get $5, to be able to run the refinery and make some money, whilst BOST took the product and sell.
“Along the line, TOR has a challenge, so whilst TOR is undergoing maintenance, BOST decided that the best option is to sell the product,” he said.
“Around September 2017 when they [BOST] were selling the product, crude prices went on the rise across the world. The minimum you could buy crude was the benchmark. Most people were buying crude at the time at a premium, benchmark plus something, look! benchmark plus something."
However, “we [BOST] couldn’t sell for the benchmark, we couldn’t sell for the plus something, we went to sell at a ‘donkomi’ [reduced to clear] price and if these people [BOST] are not much more ignorant and sorry to say useless to all of us, the taxpayer, then what else are they deciding on,” he alleged.
He said COPEC suspected BOST reduced the prices so that at the backdoor they could have their own transaction [kickback] done or at the time they had to do that because “something was really pressing them” for which they decided to dispose off the crude.
“Crude has a lifespan of 200 years. If you go to the United States, they store crude between five and 10years every now and then. Ours have stayed for 8 months, 9 months, and if you look at the excuses they are making in their responses, our crude was going bad and the yield was going to be bad.”
“If it was going bad, you think a private person called BB would have put his money in it, he questioned and added that EOCO was going to be invited into the matter, “the Special Prosecutor will be invited into this matter duly,” he told the radio station.
Ignorant Duncan Amoah
Commenting on the assertion by BOST that he [Amoah] exhibited ignorance with the allegation, Mr Amoah said: “Look, we should get serious in this country. I think we should have moved past this mediocrity, we should have moved past this incompetence, we should have moved past this ‘chop chop’ agenda all together by now.”
“…What is my ignorance is the fact that you have sold crude which you are not denying. What is ignorance is the fact that you sold the crude below market price, which you can’t deny, what is the ignorance is that you sold crude to a company that is not licensed or authorised to do so in Ghana,” he questioned.
Mr Amoah insisted the transaction by BOST in relation to the disposal of the crude was “shrouded in some shady background and now I [Duncan Amoah] have become a personal target for them and it is not surprising they have threatened me all along. It is not surprising they sit and Duncan Amoah is the thorn in their flesh because the chop chop will not be allowed to continue.
“The chop chop will only continue when BOST is able to tell Ghanaians how much they owe as we speak and when these Managing Directors are going, when he leaves, the debt is not surcharged to his personal account “for some of these needless, useless decisions that they take, monies that could easily have come to the state, you go to give a discount at a time world market prices are on the rise, the BOST MD finds it the most prudent use of the nation’s resources to go and throw away money and now they are calling somebody ignorant. I am sure that the days of their chopping is over.”