In a four-part investigative documentary series, Aljazeera unearthed incriminating evidence of money-laundering and gold-smuggling rings in Zimbabwe, with Ghana as a participant.
Alistair Mathias, a self-described “Financial Architect” with experience arranging such syndicates, was hired by undercover journalists posing as Chinese gangsters.
Mathias disclosed that he had carried out similar scams in Ghana and asserted that he was good friends with the president of that country, who he also claimed had once served as his lawyer.
The top smuggler in Ghana at one point, Mathias, disclosed to the undercover journalists how he operated.
He indicated that his operations in Africa rely on the trust that some dubious politicians have in him to keep their siphoned resources safely tucked away.
He explained that the politicians involved do not keep assets in their own names but rely on proxies, with Mathias taking tenders, road construction, procurement, and supplying different things.
He revealed that in doing this, he is able to inflate the cost of contracts and subsequently split the profits with the politicians involved.
“In Ghana, I take tenders, road construction, procurement, supplying different things, oil, this that. There, all the politicians get taken care of, indirectly because it allows me to do all my other stuff freely.”
“For example, Ghana government, I get the contract. I subcontract it to you, $100 million contract. Ghana government pays me $100 million. I give it to you, and you say it’s $80 million.”
“In this scenario, the outstanding $20 million out of the inflated $100 million is shared per an arrangement reached between Alistair and the said politician,” he added.
“I’ll have an arrangement with them, and they get 15… I’ll probably get 5 million. I keep all of it in Dubai. Whenever they want it, they just tell me and I send it.”
“Ghana’s President is a good friend of mine, in fact, he was my lawyer,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has denied any recollection of acting as a lawyer for Mathias or his company, while Mathias himself has denied ever being awarded any tender by the Ghanaian government or entering into any government contracts in any African country.