Anti-corruption groups have filed a report calling for the investigation of Kinross Gold Corporation, a Canadian miner with interests in Ghana. They are accusing the company of corruption.

01-13kinross-gold-corp-kgcAccording to information out of Canada, MiningWatch Canada and a French anti-corruption association Sherpa, have filed a report with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) calling for an investigation into Canadian mining company Kinross Gold Corporation for apparent breaches of Canada’s anti-corruption laws.

The groups are leveling the allegations against the Toronto based company over its operations in Tasiast mine in Mauritania and the Chirano mine in Ghana.

This accusation is following revelations in a French newspaper Le Monde that Kinross is under investigation by the US Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for corruption at its African mines.

The groups say their report is based on extensive and detailed documents and information that they received from whistleblowers and other sources, and includes subpoenas served on Kinross as part of the ongoing SEC investigation, internal Kinross documents, and whistleblower letters setting out highly detailed allegations of bribery, corruption and other financial crimes in Mauritania and Ghana.

“This information suggests extremely close ties between Kinross and public officials, which have apparently allowed opaque financial flows of great magnitude to improper recipients,” the groups say.

Canadian companies are notorious for corrupt practices around the world, and that is said to be due to Canada’s poor enforcement of its anti-corruption laws.

When in September 2013, the World Bank announced the debarring of some 600 companies around the world for corruption, Canadian companies topped the list – there were 117 of them, and 115 represented one company from that country, Lavalin and its subsidiaries. The companies were blacklisted by the Bank and were debarred from acquiring the Bank’s contracts for some period of time.

Kinross describes its Chirano mine as an open-pit and underground operation located in southwestern Ghana, approximately 100 kilometres southwest of Kumasi, the country’s second largest city.

“The mine is among Kinross’ lowest cost operations following its transition to self-perform mining in 2014. Chirano ore is processed at the mine’s mill, which has capacity of approximately 3.5 million tonnes per year,” it says on its website.

Kinross holds 90 per cent share while the Ghana government holds 10 per cent carried interest in the mine.

Efforts to reach the company for comments were unsuccessful.

It would be recalled that in July 2012, Emmanuel Kwesi Ababio, the Managing Director of of Emmaland Cardero Mining Company Limited, Canadian-Ghanaian mining firm asked Ghana’s Criminals Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police to arrest and detain a Ghanaian journalist while performing his legitimate duties.

Pascal Kudiabor, who worked with the www.ghanabusinessnews.com, an online business journal, told this reporter he was picked up from the Accra premises of Emmaland Cardero Mining Company Limited, a foreign mining firm operating the Sheini Iron Ore Mines in the Zabzugu-Tatale District of the Northern Region, near Tamale, some 658 km north of the capital, while there for an interview.

The police however took Kudiabor to their office at the police headquarters where they interrogated him.

According to the Managing Editor of www.ghanabusinessnews, Emmanuel Dogbevi, who was later asked to report at the CID headquarters, Monday’s visit was the second the reporter had made to the office of the mining firm to investigate a story concerning the Sheini Hills project.

“I was therefore surprised to receive a call from my reporter that the CID had arrested him on the premises of the company and were taking him to their headquarters,” Dogbevi told this reporter.

According to Dogbevi, the reporter had been investigating a story about iron ore in Ghana and the name of the company happened to feature in it.

He therefore sent a questionnaire to the company seeking permission to visit their mining site in Zabzugu District.

“Upon my return, I requested to have an interview with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, one Emmanuel Kwesi Ababio,” the reporter continued.

Upon reaching the office, Kudiabor said the CEO asked him to wait in his office in the company of the Public Relations Officer and another official.

“About 30 minutes later, Ababio reappeared with two people who introduced themselves as detectives who had been sent by their boss, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Inkoom, to invite me to the CID Headquarters.”

According to him, the police said Ababio reported that he had been suspicious of the journalist’s activities, claiming he had been prying into their affairs.

Kudiabor, who also reports for the www.fighana.com, said although he produced his press card issued by the Financial Intelligence, operators of thewww.fighana.com, the police insisted on taking a statement from him.

When reached for his comments, the Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Superintendent of Police Cephas Arthur, expressed shock and disgust at the behavior of the CID but said he would investigate and get back to the media.

International and Public Relations Officer of Emmaland-Cardero, Paries Augusta Nyeswah declined to comment on the issue when contacted by this reporter.

The General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Bright Blewoo expressed serious concern about the way the Ghana police had been going about inviting journalists who were doing their legitimate work.

He cited the example of two editors, Malik Kwaku Barko of the New Crusading Guide and Ebo Quansah of the Ghanaian Chronicle who were invited by the police CID to state the sources of stories they had published.

“The constitution does not allow anybody to compel a journalist to disclose the source of a published news item,” Blewoo reiterated.

Source-Ghanabusinessnews.com/newsghana.com.gh

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