The Embattled former Deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Lakshmi Hammah, is not amused about reports that Ghana’s anti-money laundering agency, the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), is investigating her private bank accounts.
Ms Hammah therefore threatened to sue the FIC if it failed to publish the outcome of its investigations after invading her privacy.
An angry Victoria Hammah was said to have called the FIC Chief Executive, Samuel T. Essel, to find out the rationale behind the investigations, especially when no one had lodged a complaint of missing money or theft against her.
Financial experts and lawyers had urged the former Deputy Minister to institute a legal action against the FIC.
A source close to the former Deputy Minister told Daily Guide over the weekend that Ms Hammah placed a call to the National Security outfit to find out who was behind the investigations and she was told they were not aware of any probe into her bank accounts and therefore should ignore the reports.
According to the source, her checks at all the high places in government indicated that nobody appeared to know where the directive to probe her accounts was coming from and therefore decided to call the FIC Boss herself.
Angry over the deliberate leakage of the alleged probe into the public domain, Ms. Hammah called the FIC boss, Mr. Essel on Friday who said he would want to meet her one-on-one to trash out issues.
This response infuriated the embattled former minister who told Mr. Essel point blank that she did not want to have anything to do with him.
“Oh Honorable, we can’t talk on phone, let’s meet over it,” the FIC boss allegedly told Ms Hammah.
But Ms Hammah was not in a mood for any meeting. “Please don’t call me honorable, I’m Victoria Hammah, and I’m not going to meet you for any meeting. I want you to publish the bank statements after your investigations,” Vicky reportedly fired back.
According to the source, Vicky was particularly angry that she was not briefed about the inquest into her private bank account only for the same people investigating her to leak the letter written to the banks to the media, ostensibly to embarrass her.
She said she was not afraid of any investigations because she had not misconducted herself during the period she served as a Deputy Minister of Communications.
“Let them go out and publish my account statements; otherwise I’ll sue them,” she warned.
Last Saturday, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini said on Joy FM that the Vicky account issue was referred to the FIC without explaining who did the referral.
Since she was appointed a Deputy Minister, the source said nobody had paid Vicky any money; not even her monthly salaries, and that she had been living in a rented 2-bedroom apartment at Dansoman, shuttling from there to the office.
“She has not been paid her salaries since she was appointed. And no official accommodation had been provided for her as well. She lives in a rented house,” the source said.
It was the same apartment her driver was living in (with her) until he allegedly betrayed her by recording her private conversations, leaking it to the media.
The FIC, in a letter dated November 13, 2013 and signed by the Chief Executive, Samuel T. Essel, stated among other things, that Victoria Hammah was under “security notice.”
Daily Guide can confirm that the FIC wrote to all banks in Ghana requesting information relating to her private accounts.
The Financial Intelligence Center said Ms Hammah “has come under security notice…pursuit to section 28 of the Anti Money Laundering Act, 2008 (Act 749).”
The letter asked the banks to provide the intelligence agency with information on her transaction statements (bank/investment statements), mandate and account opening forms, evidence of know your customer (KYC) and customer due diligence (CDD) and copies of her photo identity.
The banks were also to provide all transaction statements; both bank and investment statements.
The banks had up to last Friday November 15, 2013 to provide the requested information.
The FIC is trying to nail the dismissed Deputy Minister on her utterances in the secret recording, where she was heard mentioning $1 million.
In the statement, Vicky stated that she would not be fighting her bosses when she could not boast of $1 million in her account.
However, this had been interpreted differently to mean that she wanted to make $1 million before quitting politics.
The former Deputy Minister leaked secret tape recording exposed accounts of corruption, bribery of Supreme Court Judges, conspiracies and power play in the John Mahama Administration.