Dr George Crentsil
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has begun probing Dr George Crentsil, former Executive Director of Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and other officials of the authority, who have been cited in an alleged $1.2 million bribery scandal.
The former executive director purportedly received the said money as kickback from a construction firm – Lemet Construction Company – that did some work for the GSA, according to the findings of an investigative committee.
The firm, according to reports, was awarded a GH¢15 million (about $4 million) contract for the construction of a new block for GSA’s training school.
According to the committee’s report, which was submitted to the then Minister of Trade, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, although the contractor did not mention why the said money was given to the former GSA boss, Dr. Crentsil was said to have admitted receiving the cash.
According to the report, “It was revealed that the Executive Director took one million United States of America Dollars ($1,000,000) from the contractor working on the training school on one occasion.
“On another occasion, he [Dr. George Crentsil] again took Two hundred thousand United States of America Dollars ($200,000) from the contractor.
The report further indicates, “The Executive Director admitted taking money from the contractor but refused to state how much, stating it was a sensitive matter.”
It would be recalled that the current Trade Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, in May this year, requested for a forensic audit into the activities of the GSA as a result of the purported scandal.
The investigation on the GSA was said to have been triggered by a whistleblower at the place through an anonymous letter to the former trade minister, who forwarded the complaint to the GSA board to investigate.
The Standards Authority is officially under the Trade Ministry and the request for the audit by the current minister is expected to explain why the former minister (Ekwow Spio-Garbrah), received the investigative report on his last day in office, among other matters.
DAILY GUIDE has gathered that officials of EOCO had gone to the office of the Ghana Standards Authority to investigate officials who have been fingered in the alleged scandal to prove the veracity or otherwise of the allegations.
According to sources, the ongoing probe has triggered some form of reforms at the GSA, with officials having to review their procurement procedures to avoid possible similar scenarios in the future.
By Gibril Abdul Razak