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A spectre is haunting Ghana? Credit: Wikimedia Commons

No, this isn’t about Donald Trump’s brother, if he has one, it’s about the allegedly dubious relationship between Russian oil companies and the brother of the president of Ghana. But if I mentioned that in the headline a lot of people wouldn’t read the story, especially the sanctimonious liberals who accuse Trump, with no solid evidence, of being Vladimir Putin’s agent. As opposed to his clueless stooge, which he is.

But that’s probably not impeachable, and who cares about African corruption? Even when it’s non-African companies, in this case RUSSIAN ones, retaining a locally connected middleman to get a sweetheart deal that fucks his country’s people.

But read on, because the Trump administration hasn’t done dick about this so it looks like the Russian companies are going to rip off Ghana. What’s not clear is whether Trump and his administration know about this apparent scandal or whether they are turning a blind eye. Either way, this is an important story and I urge you to read into it whatever you want. And this is seriously outrageous, it will get your blood boiling fast.

OK, here we go:

This story concerns one Edward Akufo-Addo, the brother of the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, who was elected on December 16, 2016, soon after Donald Trump’s crushing victory over (sore) loser Hillary Clinton at some point late last year. Edward, AKA for unknown reasons Bumpty, has no official title but is also the son of a former president (of Ghana. It’s sort of like the locally based Bubba, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton dynasty, except the Akufo-Addo family is not a joke, or perhaps the Kennedys, but the Ghanian version aren’t murderers.)

What I’ve heard, from an unimpeachable local source who is intimately familiar with Ghana and its oil industry, is that Bumpty has been quietly helping Litasco, a Swiss subsidiary of Russian giant Lukoil, get a contract to provide Ghana with fuel oil. This contract is far worse for the people of Ghana than an existing deal for fuel oil with a company called Trafigura. Bumpty has also, allegedly, been seeking to forcefully impose this deal on the government of Ghana — via the Minister of Petroleum — through his connections and influence.

If it goes through and shipping of fuel oil begins it would result in piles of commissions/money for Bumpty so, if true, it’s a very sweet deal for him. What’s also sort of interesting is that Bumpty has a longstanding personal and business rivalry with Ibrahim Mahama, the brother of former president John Mahama. In fact, Bumpty’s commissions from Litasco would be even bigger than the commissions that Ibrahim allegedly got from Trafigura.

It’s worth noting here that any brother of a president of Ghana is a PEP — Politically Exposed Persons — because they are by definition related to the president of Ghana and if they are negotiating deals for foreign companies and using their influence to get the deals approved, that’s bad for sure and probably illegal.

Somehow is seems that the Akufo-Addo clan (and perhaps the Mahamas) don’t know what a PEP is. Furthermore, it would be relevant to point out that Nana, the current president, came to office criticizing the corruption of his predecessor, Mahama, and specifically trashed the deal his government cut with Trafigura.

Also, it was recently reported that “Lukoil is considering selling its Swiss unit Litasco because new U.S. sanctions on Russia will make it harder for the Geneva-based energy trader to raise new funds.” And by the way, Lukoil stock trades in the U.S. — it’s sort of complicated — which means that it should be prosecuted if it violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or any anti-bribery laws, so the Trump administration could easily bring a case against it if it has or does.

Lukoil also has gas stations in the U.S. And for reasons too complicated to go into here the British government could just as easily go after Lukoil/Litasco if it had the political will.

But first let me state that even though it looks like Trafigura is sort of getting fucked on this deal, it has over the years done plenty of fucking of its own. The firm has supplied a variety of dictators and thuggish, corrupt heads of state. Most notoriously, in 2006 it dumped on the Ivory Coast huge amounts of toxic waste, for which it was convicted four years later. So I don’t want to call Trafigura the victim here, especially because the real victims are the people of Ghana.

Let me now state forthrightly that Bumpty denies that he is representing Litasco. Here’s exactly what he wrote me in an email, and then see below* what he sent after I published the story. You might call the latter “Edward’s Moment of ‘Discovery’: What Would My Brother the President Do”:

I am afraid your premise that I am negotiating a contract for a company called Litasco is entirely erroneous. I am therefore unable to answer or comment upon any of your subsequent questions and inferences. Thank you Regards

Well, my source included a lot of details, including meetings in London — one reason the British have jurisdiction — between Bumpty and key figures involved in the shenanigans. And oh, by the way, Bumpty reportedly owns a $1.4 million estate in London, according to this outstanding story by Open Source Investigations (OSI). Furthermore, according to this outstanding story:

Nana Akufo Addo has a secret luxury London home. Akufo Addo’s brother Edward lives in a $1.4 million London home. Akufo Addo’s daughter Funmi lives in a $700,000 London home. Akufo Addo’s daughter Valerie lives in a $500,000 London home.

There is a huge contradiction between [President Nana] Akufo Addo’s presentation of himself as a “simple, incorruptible man” and the reality of his life of wealth in London. OSI has documentary proof that Akufo Addo and his family live a lavish and luxury life in London, the most expensive city in the world. Their high-priced homes are located in London’s most expensive neighbourhoods. Nana Akufo Addo has been a politician for almost twenty years. Where does the money for his and his family’s luxury life in London come from?

(Note: The only thing even remotely linked to all this stuff that has been published in the media was this piece at ghanabusinessnews.com. It said that Nana’s cabinet had “approved the take-over of an offshore mooring facility from Trafigura…at the end of the concession by the Ministry of Petroleum.”)

I’ll be posting more about this soon and will include additional comment from Bumpty (or anyone else) if he has anything to add.

*Mr Silverstein,

I am surprised that,despite my informing you that your assertion that I am negotiating a contract for a company called Litasco is erroneous,you have gone ahead and repeated your assertions in this publication,and I resent deeply the smear of corruption and illegality that you suggest.
With respect to the property that you claim the Akufo-Addo family owns in London,I am again surprised that a so called investigative journalist that you claim to be would repeat libellous articles and total falsehoods picked up from the Internet.I have owned a flat in London for about fourteen years the value of which comes nowhere near what you suggest.
As far as my brother,who was recently elected President of Ghana is concerned,I can categorically  state that he owns no property in the United Kingdom whatsoever,neither do I know of any property in the United Kingdom owned by any of his children that you mention.
I am now aware that facts appear to mean nothing to you.I will,therefore,take the appropriate action to protect my name and that of my family.
Regards,
Edward Akufo-Addo.

Sent from my iPad

 

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