Gold Smuggler Exposed By Aljazeera Says Akufo-Addo Is His Close Friend, Lawyer
A Canadian man who smuggles $40 million worth of gold from Ghana every month has disclosed the kind of close relationship he has with Ghana’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Alistair Mathias, who is a gold trader with expertise in designing money laundering schemes for Africans, said that his work has given him access to every president or head of state on the continent.
Speaking in the final episode of the undercover investigations of gold smuggling in Africa by the Investigative Unit of Al Jazeera, Alistair Mathis, who is one of the main characters in the video, boasted about his relationship with the Ghanaian president.
He (described as a financial architect) told the undercover reporters, who had posed as Chinese criminals seeking to launder dirty money from Africa, that his relationship with Akufo-Addo is a close one.
He also claims that the Ghanaian president is his lawyer.
“There’s no head of state or president that either of us can’t get to on this continent. Next door in Swaziland, the king is a close friend of mine. Zambia’s president is a close friend of my friend. DRC Congo, the president has invited me several times to come and build a refinery.
“Ghana’s president is a good friend of mine. In fact, he was my lawyer. Cyril Ramaphosa here; I know him. I know his kids,” he bragged.
Alistair makes U-turn on knowing Ghana’s president
Before the conclusion of the Al Jazeera video, it stated that “Mr Mathias denied ever being awarded any tender by the Ghanaian government or entering into any government contracts in any African country.
“President Akufo-Addo of Ghana told us that he had no recollection of acting as a lawyer for Alistair Mathias or his company.”
In an earlier story by GhanaWeb, it said that Alistair Mathias, a Canadian national based in Dubai, is reported to have been helping people launder money all over the world, using a web of companies and refineries to ensure his operation is successful. His clients range from Russians to African politicians.
He is said to be the partner of Ewan Macmillan, another alleged mafia figure exposed in the Al Jazeera series.
During his meeting with Al Jazeera’s undercover reporters, Mathias said that aside from Ghana, he moves gold worth between $70million and $80million from Zimbabwe monthly. South Africa was also on his list.
According to Al Jazeera, “When asked for a formal comment about the findings of Al Jazeera’s investigation, Mathias denied that he designed mechanisms to launder money and said that he had not laundered money or traded illegal gold for Russian clients or anyone else. He told us he had never had any working relationship with Macmillan.”
Alistair Mathias accused of duping Ghanaian businessman
This isn’t the first time Alistair Marthias’ name is being tagged with crime; in 2014, he was accused of swindling a Ghanaian businessman of over $4million in a gold trade.
According to the businessman, Henry Osei, he opened a branch of his company in Dubai and gave Mathias the role of clearing and forwarding gold shipments to the refinery in Dubai as well as receiving proceeds for transfer to the Ghanaian company back home in Accra, since the latter was a resident of the UAE.
He said things ran smoothly at the beginning of the partnership, but in December 2013 and March 2014, Mathias failed to transfer proceeds of $4million to Ghana though checks revealed the refinery in Dubai had paid him for the sale of gold.
“After all my efforts to retrieve my money proved futile, it left me no choice but to file a criminal case against him for his arrest. Mr Matthias was subsequently arrested when he came to Ghana and was granted bail in less than an hour at the Police Headquarters. As I speak, the man has travelled back to Dubai,” Mr Osei noted in a Dubai court.
Though Alistair pleaded not guilty to the charge of misappropriating the said amount, the court judged in favour of the complainant.