The Central Regional Chairman of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Allotey Jacobs, has threatened to deal with Hopeson Adoye, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), for claiming he (Mr Jacobs) was arrested in the UK for money laundering.
Mr Adoye, based on an account of his friend, who was on board the same British airline flight 078 with Mr Jacobs, said that the UK Security officials at Heathrow approached the NDC Chairman on the flight, questioned him over money laundering issues and for a few minutes walked him out of the plane.
“Of course I didn’t start these rumours on social media, but a friend who was also travelling to UK on the same flight and was at the business class with Allotey said at Heathrow, some four security officials including three men and a lady walked to Allotey and asked him how much money he was having in his possession. Allotey just told the officials that the money he was carrying was purposely for a government programme; but the officials, who were not convinced by Allotey’s response, said he’d some time ago, said the same thing.
“So, within some few minutes, he was accosted and escorted out with a lady, who was sitting beside Allotey on the plane leaving his belongings. The issue even made him delay his next flight to Dallas. And so this person’s account is accurate – he just told me exactly what happened and for me, a summary of the whole incidence is that this amounts to questioning and arrest of Allotey Jacobs by UK officials,” Adorye stated on Monday.
But also speaking on the same programme, Mr Jacobs denied the report and threatened to deal with Hopeson Adoye for peddling falsehood about him.
“That is the story I am hearing from Ghana and this is very serious. I’m stunned that somebody can manufacture a story like this. That is a big lie and you can even confirm from the British High Commission who have even dismissed such rumours. I’ve seen the High Commissioner’s tweet denying the allegations and saying nothing like that happened.
“I’m here in Dallas in Western Galleria Hotel with even one of our board members. Hopeson will experience hell when I come back to Ghana for peddling such falsehood about me,” he said
“I will never allow this rumour to [go]… away like that, because he cannot destroy my hard won reputation with a figment of his own imagination. How can one manufacture such baseless allegation, and he goes to social media and writes that I’ve been arrested. I traveled with my colleague Board member, Mrs Agbenyeto who is a former Chief State Attorney, how can I even take this amount being alleged, out of Ghana.”
Here’s the full statement from the British High Commission:
Mr Allotey Jacobs, Statement by the British High Commission
The British High Commission would like definitively to clarify the situation concerning the alleged arrest of Mr Allotey Jacobs at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday, 29 May.
We became aware around Sunday lunchtime of online and social media rumours to the effect that Mr Jacobs had been arrested on arrival at London Heathrow from Accra, allegedly variously accused of money laundering or of being involved in a ‘drugs bust’. Both claims are simply untrue. There was no such arrest. Mr Jacobs was not detained, nor was he questioned. There was absolutely no evidence of money laundering or drugs.
Subsequently, there were persistent further rumours that Mr Jacobs had at least been escorted off the plane by UK law enforcement. After exhaustive, multiple enquiries we state unequivocally that the UK law enforcement authorities with jurisdiction at Heathrow Airport all confirm that they did not board the aeroplane to speak to Mr Jacobs, nor did they do so subsequently within the airport, and they certainly did not escort Mr Jacobs off the flight concerned. Our law enforcement authorities keep meticulous records, including of any “escorting off” aeroplanes – there is no such record in the case of Mr Jacobs, as there was no such event. We understand that Mr Jacobs caught his connecting flight to the US on time and without incident.
British Airways tell us that they, too, have no record of any law enforcement boarding directed at Mr Jacobs. A public claim has been made that Mr Jacobs was ‘escorted’ from a seat in Row 15 in business class. However, on the flight in question, Row 15 was not in, and indeed some distance from, business class, the class in which Mr Jacobs travelled, so that claim falls away.
Mr Jacob’s political affiliation is of no interest to us. Had we been asked to confirm or deny the alleged arrest of anyone else of any other political affiliation, we would have acted in exactly the same way – purely factually. The UK government is and will remain entirely neutral in Ghanaian domestic politics. We do, however, have the full right to respond to claims made about law enforcement issues in the UK itself, particularly when, as in this case, those claims are wholly wrong.