Businessman and Chief Executive Officer of Bahmed Travel and Tours, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh, has brushed aside reports that he operates and sponsors a fake currency syndicate.
In a hurriedly arranged press conference on Tuesday, Alhaji Bandoh who is popularly known as Alhaji Bahmed, insisted that the reports were “spurious, concocted and a grand scheme to tarnish his hard-earned reputation”.
“I am not a criminal and I will never be one. I have built a solid reputation in this country over the years and would not take such allegations lightly at all,” the enraged businessman warned.
Alhaji Bahmed said these in reaction to a press statement issued by the National Security suggesting that the travel and tour operator was linked to a fake currency syndicate operating in the capital city of Ghana – Accra.
The statement further disclosed that a 13-member gang who were printing fake dollar notes to defraud unsuspecting members of the public were rounded up by security operatives at the Airport Junction, a suburb of Accra.
Flanked by his lawyer, Prince Frederick Nii Ashie Neequaye, Alhaji Bahmed threatened to issue a defamation suit to the security agency.
“It is one Colonel Agyeman who is behind the statement and myriad of publications on this matter. It is malicious and mischievous, and I will take them on.
“This is not over at all, because I am going to expose these National Security people. We have them on tape. So as I said, at the appropriate time, I will expose them,” he added.
The respected businessman further explained, “I will never assault a senior military officer and I want to make it obvious to the whole world that I have never associated myself with any fake currency operations. I refute the allegations levelled against me for having any involvement with the recent fake currency saga”.
He stated that he only accompanied the lawyer of one Alhaji Mohammed to the National Security Headquarters after the latter had been arrested in connection with the printing and distribution of fake currency on Monday, April, 27.
He said they were both prevented from seeing the officer in charge of the operations.
The National Security on Monday, April, 27 arrested a 13-member gang involved in the printing and distribution of fake currency notes to unsuspecting victims, mostly foreign nationals.
A statement issued by the National Security Secretariat said the gang, led by one Yassei Alia, a 45-year-old Syrian resident in East Legon, and owner of Hardford Auto Service in Accra, together with Danjuma Zakaria, alias Alhaji Mohammed, 49 and resident of Tema West, were rounded up in a warehouse within the premises of NacCharter Cargo and Freight Company, near KLM offices within the Kotoka International Airport.
Freshly printed $10,000 bundles of fake $100 notes concealed in two large metal trunks and a suitcase were retrieved from the warehouse. The statement said the amount was estimated to be over five million United States Dollars (USD).
Other suspected accomplices arrested during the operation include Esther Omozeea, Emad Aldalhi, Kamal Mohammed, Abdulai Yakubu Osman, Samuel Ababio, John Denyo, Desmond Delali Dumenu, Alike Happiness, Prosper Chukwu, Victor Israel and Padi Christian Holdbrook.