Fraud@Ghana Water: State being ripped of Billions

Intel available to the ‘Daily Post’ and further investigations the paper carried out has revealed how some employees of the Ghana Water Company (GWC) have defrauded the company of hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis, i.e. billions of old Ghana cedis in just three months!

The fraud involves the inflating of amounts that are paid to two haulage companies for handling and haulage of items imported by the GWC from the Tema Harbour to its Central Stores at Ashaiman and from there to its stations spread across the country.

The items transported are usually Chlorine Gas, Chlorine Cylinders, Sudfloc Polymer, Calcium Hypochlorite and Aluminum Sulphate all which go into treating water to ensure it is wholesome before it is pumped into homes, schools, hospital, offices etc.

Several documents (internal memos) in the possession of this paper that proves this gargantuan fraud reveals that handling and haulage of these materials from the Tema Harbour to the Central stores which used to cost not more than GHC160,000 (C1.6 billion) in 2016 now costs the company over GH 600,000 ( C6 billion). These amounts are transferred from GWC accounts into the accounts of its Central Stores in Tema.

On August 24, 2016, during the administration of the NDC, a request of GH C153, 139.22 was made by the Central Stores to pay haulage firms for the handling of twenty containers of Calcium hydroxide and polyelectrolyte.

On 2016, the Central Stores requested for the sum of GH¢141,766.82 as payment for the handling of 38×20 containers of Chlorine Gas and Aluminum Sulphate. All these monies, after allegedly going through auditing, are transferred into the accounts of the Central Stores for payment to the two haulage companies.

Incredibly, just a year later after such payments were made, under a new board and a new management and with the NPP in office,  the GWC began to pay the haulage companies amounts that are four or five times higher than what they usual pay them for virtually the same work done.

In November 2017, the Central Stores requested for GH¢395,212.34 for payment to contractors for the handling and haulage of 20 containers of Aluminum Sulphate and Chlorine Gas. Thus, for the same work that the GWC paid GH¢141,766.82, in less than a year, it paid GH¢395,212.34, an increase of GH¢253,445.52 (¢2.53 billion)!

A month later, on December 15, 2017, the Central Stores requested for a whopping GH¢656,000.60 (¢6.5billion) from the GWC to be paid to the haulage companies for the handling of Calcium Hypochlorite from the Tema Harbour to its Central Stores and then to its various water treatment stations. The amount was allegedly audited, approved and payment made with the transfer of the said amount from the GCB High Street account of the company into the accounts of the Central Stores.

That very day, that is December 15, 2017, another GH¢650,000.80 was requested for the handling and haulage of Chlorine gas from the Tema Harbour to the Central Stores and then to the various water treatment stations. This too was transferred from the GCB High Street account of the company into the account of the Central Stores. Then just three days later, another request from the Central Stores for the receipt and handling of Sudfloc polymer saw the GWC transferring a whopping GH¢664,000.80 from its SG SSB Headquarters account into the account of the Central Stores for payment to the haulage companies.

In December 2017 alone therefore, a total of GH¢1,970,012.2 (¢19.70 billion) was requested for by the Central Stores and transferred into its accounts by the GWC for handling and haulage of water treatment materials!

“The figures are strange. How can we jump from GH¢141,776.82 and GH¢153,139.22 for the handling and haulage of these items to GH ¢664,010.80, GH¢650,000.80 and GH¢656,000.00? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realize the state is being defrauded big time,” a concerned worker at the company told this paper.

Interestingly, the memos requesting for these payments have stamps on them to show the transactions for which the requests are being made were audited. When the ‘Daily Post’ sought explanation from the Procurement Manager of the GWC, Mr. Stephen Damparee, he would not talk unless the Communications Manager, Stanley Martey, was present. But Stanley Martey himself had no answers to the DAILY POST’s queries when a senior reporter of the paper met him.

The GWC is being defrauded of these gargantuan amounts at a time the company is unable to pay the salaries of its workers in full and also unable to provide portable water to certain parts of the county as it used to.

Further investigations carried out by the ‘Daily Post’ shows the gargantuan fraud was carried out even last month, January 2018, with even more shocking amounts being requested for by the Central Stored and transferred into its account by the GWC for payment to contractors who alleged handled and transported items imported by the company.

In tomorrow’s edition, we shall bring readers Part 2 of this gargantuan fraud, especially the astronomical amounts ripped off the state last month by the fraudsters in the GWC and other shocking revelations.

More Anon

SOURCE: DAILY POST

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