To a Ghanaian King, handing someone a holdall stuffed using more than £350,000 to deposit inside a bank might appear nothing unusual.
Indeed, when Osei Tutu II, traditional ruler from the Kingdom of Ashanti, called Mark Arthur to his multimillion-pound residence in Henley-on-Thames and handed him a bag that contains almost £200,000 in sterling in addition to $200,000 in US currency with consecutive serial figures, the financial institution official felt it inappropriate to inquire about a lot of questions.
However, the following deposit from the cash at Ghana Worldwide Bank triggered a cash washing alert within the Town of London and price Mr Arthur his job.
The King, who once labored at Brent council, called Mr Arthur, the bank’s second most senior executive, to his home in August this past year.
Mr Arthur, from New Barnet, Herts, a dual citizen from the United kingdom and Ghana, drove to their own home using the cash after which required it within an Uber taxi towards the bank’s City offices for deposit within the king’s account, he told a work tribunal.
Mark Arthur drove to their own home using the cash after which required it within an Uber taxi towards the bank’s City offices for deposit within the king’s account, he told a work tribunal Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS
Osei Tutu II, the holder of the diplomatic passport, told him the money have been withdrawn from banks in Ghana and introduced towards the United kingdom, he stated in the witness statement.
He had also instructed Mr Arthur to maneuver $200,000 for an account at Traditional bank in Jersey.
Mr Arthur, part of the Ashanti tribe, the biggest in Ghana, transported the transfer within hrs, the tribunal heard.
He was suspended after which sacked following a incident, after an analysis by outdoors accountants Grant Thornton. He’s claiming wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal and failure to safeguard a whistleblower.
The financial institution stated he’d unsuccessful to follow along with anti-money washing rules coupled with violated security policies because it was just insured to hold cash by armoured vehicle up to and including more £250,000.
Mr Arthur, a professional director from the bank, alleged the deposit and transfer were approved by Ghana Worldwide Bank’s leader, Frederick Mensah.
Mr Mensah told an outdoors reviewer of Mr Arthur’s dismissal he “didn’t have the legal right to sanction this type of huge amount”.
Osei Tutu II meets the Queen in 2000 Credit: FIONA HANSON
Osei Tutu II is believed to become Africa’s tenth wealthiest monarch, with valuable goldmine and cacao plantations and stays probably the most influential traditional figures in Ghana.
In the witness statement, Mr Arthur stated he was unable to follow anti-money washing rules as he recognized the money due to the king’s status.
He stated: “Without an insurance policy to follow along with and did without wanting to offend a sovereign of my country, I discovered myself in an exceedingly difficult situation and something I’d never experienced before.
“I couldn’t perform necessary research by speaking to His Magnificence so made the decision it might be better to verify the deposits in the bank and also to speak straight to Mr Mensah instead of disrespect His Magnificence inside a face-to-face meeting.”
The next day the financial institution recognized the money making the transfer to Jersey, it reported the transactions towards the National Crime Agency as suspicious.
News of Mr Arthur’s suspension was subsequently passed towards the City watchdogs the Prudential Regulation Authority and also the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA sent inspectors in to the bank who seriously criticised its handling of money, the tribunal heard.
Lawyers for Mr Arthur contended that his handling from the deposit was using the way the financial institution formerly handled Osei Tutu II’s account Credit: Heathcliff O’Malley
Lawyers for Mr Arthur contended that his handling from the deposit was using the way the financial institution formerly handled Osei Tutu II’s account and the man was conscious that the king could travel on the diplomatic passport.
They reported a string of huge cash deposits in 2013 and 2014 in which the supply of the funds wasn’t correctly recorded.
They incorporated a $100,000 that overview of the king’s account stated originated from a fundraiser event. There have been no documents recording the origin of this cash, however.
Colin Millar, a structure society chairman drafted in by Ghana Worldwide Bank to adjudicate on Mr Arthur’s appeal against his dismissal, rejected suggestions the £350,000 holdall was acceptable because of the king’s history using the bank.
He told the tribunal the deposit and quick transfer offshore would be a “classic” danger signal of cash washing.
Mr Millar told the hearing: “If you need to hide the causes of funds which are from the dishonest source then you definitely move them around until it reaches the stage where the government bodies can’t trace it well for their original source. That’s a means of hiding the proceeds of crime.”
The hearing continues.