The General Shipping and Trading Services (GSTS) has denied stealing oil from Saltpond Offshore oil field and insisted that claims that its vessel has been arrested in Germany are also “false.”
The GSTS Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Justice Asare in an interview with citifmonline.com said the publication by Ghana News Agency (GNA) was “a personal vendetta against him by the CEO of Saltpond Offshore oil field, Quincy Sintim Aboagye.”
According to Justice Asare, Saltpond Offshore oil field “owes his company about $700,000 but Sintim Aboagye is using people he knows in the media to tarnish his image.”
The GNA on Wednesday reported that the International Police in Germany has intercepted an oil tanker, MT Ceilo Di Milano that was carrying stolen crude from Saltpond Offshore oil field.
The report also suggested that a correspondence between Addo Atuah & Company, Solicitors of SOPCL, and the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department of Ghana and the General Shipping & Trading Services Ltd indicated that Justice Asare took out 24,332 barrels from the Saltpond Producing Company Limited (SOPCL) valued at $1,237,647 through Imperial Energy Ventures Limited of Accra.
Per the initial arrangement, the Mt Ceilo Di Milano vessel was to set sail only after full payment had been made through letters of credit but Asare managed to sail out of the territorial waters of Ghana with the crude having used “spurious documentation to enable the vessel to leave Ghana, albeit, unlawfully.”
But Mr Asare told citifmonline.com that he has documents to prove that he made all necessary payments before the vessel sailed.
He also clarified his vessel has not been arrested in German but rather “going through the neccessary processes in order to berth.”
REJOINDER: STOLEN SALTPOND OFFSHORE CRUDEOIL INTERCEPTED
The attention of General shipping and Trading Services (GSTS) and its CEO, Mr. Justice Asare, has been drawn to a publication by Ghana News Agency where there has been an alleged theft of Salt pond crude by the afore-mentioned company.
According to the publication there was an arrangement that the cargo on board the vessel Mt Ceilo Di Milano was to set sail only after full payment had been made through letters of credit.
However, GSTS, acting per its CEO, took out 24,332 barrels of Saltpond Crude valued at $1,237,647 through Imperial Energy Ventures and managed to sail the vessel out of Ghana waters by forging documentation unlawfully.
The said report has been widely circulated on social media including ghanaweb.com and has been the basis of all sorts of disparaging remarks against GSTS and its CEO.
GSTS wishes to state categorically that the publication is based on falsehood and a malicious attempt to smear the good reputation of GSTS and Mr. Justice Asare. It is imperative to note that the publication is not only one sided story but no attempt was made by the publisher to get the side of GSTS or its CEO. It is regrettable that a news agency of the standing of GNA would defile the basic tenets of journalism by publishing such false and malicious story without any verification.
Sometime in April 2015, GSTS entered into a contract with Imperial Ventures Ltd, a Ghanaian company owned by Mr. Chaouki Fattal, for the sale and purchase of crude oil. As a result, GSTS issued a bank guarantee to Imperial Ventures Ltd to secure payment of any crude oil to be supplied to GSTS.
Pursuant to the agreement, Imperial Venture Ltd supplied 24,332 barrels of oil to GSTS. It is significant to note that GSTS has no contract with Saltpond Offshore Producing Co. Ltd. (SOPCL) or Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to sell and/or buy Ghana’s crude oil. It is therefore completely false that GSTS had agreed to the arrangement of any letters of credit before the sail of the vessel. Indeed, GSTS has rendered logistic support to SOPCL to the tune of $762,000.00 which SOPCL has been unable to pay since January 2013.
It is preposterous to further accuse GSTS and its CEO of serious offence of forgery without specifying the nature of alleged forged documents. GSTS will not undermine its corporate values by indulging in any sort of illegality to the detriment of any person let alone the Government of Republic of Ghana.
GSTS deems the publication against it as defamatory and is consulting with its solicitors to pursue all options available to it.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Follow @ osamidan