Accra July 31, GNA - Stephen Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer of Kessben Shipping Company Limited who is accused of engaging in money laundering was on Thursday remanded into Police custody by an Accra Circuit Court.
Charged with money laundering and forgery of documents, Boateng, aka Kwabena Kesse has denied the offence.
Picked up by the Police at the Kotoka International Airport last Monday, Kesseben is being held for allegedly transferring money, totalling 127, 931, 727.65 dollars to Korea, China, Thailand, and the United State of America among others.
The state contended that he also allegedly forged bills of laden and invoices to Stanbic bank so he could transfer money out of the country.
Kessben is expected to reappear on August 7.
Remanding him, the trial Judge, Mr Francis Obiri said he was mindful of the submission made by both prosecution and the defence.
According to the court, prosecution ought to be given time to complete investigations and urged the defence to repeat his bail application at the next sitting.
Defence Counsel, Mr Karl Adongo, noted that for the accused person to be put in the dock meant that the Police had completed their investigations.
Defence counsel quizzed the police as to how they arrived at the figures mentioned in the charge sheet and the reason for leaving out the alleged bank staff involved in the matter.
According to counsel, the accused, who is businessman, has several companies, including a shipping line, hence could not be held liable over the said allegation, but rather, his company.
Mr Adongo said the court has a constitutional obligation to act as a shield between the accused person and the state.
He contended that Kessben has been in business for the past 27 years, and as such would not escape nor interfere with Police investigations, adding that, he was prepared to produce documents in respect of the transactions in question.
Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham A. Annor, prayed the court to remand the accused to enable them to complete investigations.
According to DSP Annor, there were a lot of documents involved in the matter and therefore would need time to carefully look at them and if granted bail would hamper investigations.
DSP Annor said considering the influence of the accused person, he was likely to tamper with the investigations being conducted.
The case as presented by prosecution is that following intelligence report, the accused person, a customer of Stanbic Bank, in February, this year, issued fraudulent documents to facilitate the onward transfer of large volumes of foreign exchange to dubious addresses to the bank so he could transfer 127, 931, 727.65 dollars to China, Indonesia, USA, Korea among others.
This, according to the prosecution was done through some bank officials.
On his arrival into the country on July 28, 2014, this year, Kessben was picked up at the Airport, while investigation into the matter was on going.