Former MASLOC CEO jailed 10 years in absentia for causing financial loss to the State 

Sedinam Tamakloe

Sedinam Tamakloe-Attionu, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), has been sentenced in absentia to ten years imprisonment in hard labour for willfully causing financial loss to the State. 

Her accomplice, Daniel Axim, also a former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the same Institution, was also incarcerated for five years in hard labour. 

They were charged for stealing GH¢3.19 million while at MASLOC and willfully causing GH¢1.97 million financial loss to the State.  

The two were also accused of making unauthorised commitments resulting in financial obligations for the Government to the tune of GH¢61.74 million. 

Tamakloe-Attionu absconded during the trial after the High Court presided over by Justice Mrs Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe granted her plea to seek medical attention abroad.   

They were found culpable after the trial though they denied conspiring to cause financial loss to the State, conspiring to steal, stealing more than GHC1.7m, money laundering, improper payment and contravention of public procurement laws. 

Passing judgement, the Court of Appeal Judge, with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, considered the fact that the two convicts stole GHC1.7 million being part of an amount meant for a sensitisation exercise. 

They also misappropriated monies for fire victims of Kantamanto traders and bought vehicles and mobile phones for MASLOC exceeding the market prices, among others. 

 To deter “professional criminals who engage in professional crime,” as the judge described it, she directed prosecution to undertake forfeiture proceedings against Tamakloe-Attionu, the main culprit. 

The prosecution earlier told the Court that in 2017, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) conducted investigations into certain fraudulent disbursement of MASLOC funds involving the first and second accused persons. 

Investigations revealed that in June 2014, MASLOC invested a sum of GH¢150,000 in Obaatanpa Micro-Finance Company Limited (Obaatanpa), a licensed Tier II microfinance company located at Ejura in the Ashanti Region. 

Thereafter, Tamakloe-Attionu offered Obaatanpa a further investment sum of GH¢500,000.  

As a result, a MASLOC Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) cheque dated July 24, 2014, in the sum of GH¢500,000, was drawn in favour of Obaatanpa. 

Soon after Obaatanpa received the MASLOC cheque, the first accused person informed the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa that the investment amount of GH¢500,000 would attract 24 per cent interest. 

Obaatanpa decided to return the amount to MASLOC since the interest rate being demanded by the accused person was too high and unprofitable for its business and issued a cheque in refund of the loan amount. 

The prosecution said upon the presentation of the cheque, Tamakloe-Attionu declined to accept the cheque and made a demand for a cash refund of GH¢500,000, which was delivered to her by the Board Chairman of Obaatanpa on the night of August 28, 2014, at the Baatsona Total Filling Station located on Spintex Road in Accra. 

By a letter dated August 28, 2014, Tamakloe-Attionu acknowledged receipt of the refunded sum. 

In 2015, she wrote letters demanding Obaatanpa for the payment of interest on the principal investment sum of GH¢500,000. 

In response to the demands, Obaatanpa wrote a reminder to MASLOC concerning the payment of the loan amount and drew Tamakloe-Attionu’s attention to the unjustified demands whereupon the demands stopped. 

Investigations subsequently showed that MASLOC had no record of the amount paid to it and that Tamakloe-Attionu appropriated the GH¢500,000. 

Source: GNA 

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.