A gold trader exposed in Al Jazeera’s Gold Mafia investigative documentary has alleged that President Akufo-Addo is his friend and lawyer.
Al Jazeera’s latest investigation, Gold Mafia, has uncovered a band of criminals driving gold smuggling and money laundering worth billions of dollars in Southern Africa.
However, those involved in this gold smuggling syndicate have business networks that stretch across the continent and operate in many other countries including Ghana.
Alistair Mathias, described by the investigative reporters as a financial architect who builds money laundering schemes for corrupt politicians, was approached by undercover journalists posing as Chinese criminals to help them launder money from China.
Speaking to the undercover reporters while trying to strike a deal, he alleged that Ghana’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is his friend and was his lawyer too.
Alistair had earlier revealed that he has been smuggling $40 million worth of gold from Ghana monthly, which is $480 million worth of gold annually.
“Ghana’s president is a good friend of mine. In fact, he was my lawyer,” Mathias was recorded saying.
The undercover reporters found one of the companies he had used in Ghana registered as Guldrest Resources, a gold exporter which is documented in the FinCEN Files.
During the FinCEN Files investigations in 2020, the offices of Guldrest Resources could not be traced, even though the company is registered in Ghana and is a member of the Chamber of Bullion Traders Ghana.
Mathias further stated that he knew the presidents of Zambia and the DRC. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, he said, is his friend, and added that the Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is his partner.
“But I can’t say that publicly because he is under sanctions,” he said.
Telling undercover reporters how politicians everywhere including in Africa hide their money, he said they don’t keep assets in their own names; they use proxies – “Someone they can trust.”
He further told the reporters; “In Ghana I take tenders, road construction, procurement, supplying different things, oil, this that.”
He said by doing all that, the politicians are taken care of, and he could do all his things freely.
Later when confronted by Al Jazeera journalists about his claims, Mathias denied ever having any relationship with African politicians, or engaging in money laundering. He also denied ever being offered any tender by the Ghanaian government or doing any contracts for the government.
President Akufo-Addo has also told Al Jazeera that he has no recollection of acting as a lawyer for Mathias or his company.
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