Tema Oil Refinery boss resigns over bribery allegations

The embattled Chief Executive Officer of Tema Oil Refinery, (TOR), Asante K. Berko, has presented his resignation letter to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Tema Oil Refinery boss Asante Berko

A statement from the Presidency said: "The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, received the resignation from the office of Mr. Asante Berko as Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). This was after he submitted his resignation letter, dated April 15, 2020."

"President Akufo-Addo has accepted Mr. Asante Berko's resignation, and duly notified the Board of Directors of TOR of this development. This President wished him well in his future endeavours," the statement, signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Presidency, said.


Asante K. Berko has been charged for "orchestrating a bribery scheme" and arranging at least $2.5 million in bribes to be paid to Ghana government officials and also bribing Members of Parliament.

Berko, an investment banker, who worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to court documents from New York, the payment was allegedly made to gain approval for a client's power plant project from "2015 through at least 2016" and his action is said to be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The government officials, along with the companies, are not named in the court documents.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Asante Berko arranged the bribes for a Turkish energy company to funnel the money to a Ghana-based intermediary but the local company then allegedly made the payments to government officials.

"From approximately 2015 through at least 2016 (the "relevant period"), while employed at the Subsidiary [Goldman Sachs Group Inc], Berko schemed to bribe various government officials in the Republic of Ghana ("Ghana") so that a client of the Subsidiary, a Turkish Energy Company (the "Energy Company"), would win a contract (the "Power Purchase Agreement") to build and operate an electrical power plant in Ghana and sell the power to the Ghanaian government (the "Power Plant Project" or "Project")."

The complaint further alleged that Berko helped the intermediary pay more than $200,000 in bribes to various other government officials, and Berko personally paid more than $60,000 to members of the Ghanaian parliament and other government officials.

According to the complaint, Berko took deliberate measures to prevent his employer from detecting his bribery scheme, including misleading his employer's compliance personnel about the true role and purpose of the intermediary company.


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