President Nana Addo’s last foreign trip before the lockdown was 21st February 2020. The president made a 12 day working visit to Scotland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Belgium.
Sources say the trip to Switzerland was necessitated by a diplomatic scuffle which started between the Akuffo Addo government and the leadership of the Swiss Federal Council late last year in 2019.
A parcel containing the gold bars was found in the carriage of a Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) train traveling from the north eastern Swiss town of St Gallen to Lucerne, a city in the centre of the country, in October last year, authorities said, reports cnn.com.
Despite “extensive investigations” the owner of the high-value package had not been tracked down, officials said in a statement published in the local government Lucerne Canton gazette.
After authorities failed to track down the owner of the precious cargo, the gold bars, worth 182,000 Swiss francs ($191,000), were confiscated by the public prosecutor’s office.
Now, authorities later decided to publicize their quest to find the bounty’s mysterious owner in June. This was to formalise the Switzerland’s legal requirements approach to official keep hold of the gold bars.
However, investigation and query from the Switzerland media uncovered that the said unknown owner of the missing gold bars is allegedly a Ghanaian diplomat, lematin.ch reports. The said Ghanaian diplomat whose identity is now known slept on the train from his initial route between France to Switzerland, Ghanamatters.com.
Why did president Akuffo Addo accepted a state visit to Switzerland? Sources say Ghana’s government made their Swiss counterparts aware of their ownership of the missing gold bars. The Swiss on the other hand had threatened to uncover the identity of the person since the missing bags were registered immediately in the local papers in Lucerne.
So to safe face and subdue any diplomatic scuffles between the two nations.
The Swiss council according to deep throat sources allegedly promised to water down the story to just a found gold bar.
You will recall that during the reception held in honour of Nana Addo in Bern on 28 February 2020, the leader of Switzerland, President Simonetta Sommaruga in her welcome address said, economic relations are largely driven by imports of gold and cocoa to Switzerland: Ghana is Switzerland’s largest supplier of cocoa beans, and the tenth largest country of origin in terms of gold. She further stated, “we need the raw materials and you have the raw materials”. See video below.
So who is the said Ghanaian diplomat? It is alleged that the said diplomat is connected to Ghana’s mission in Paris.
The gold bars were to be deposited in a safe deposit box at a Swiss bank in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Most of the senior government officials in Ghana are allegedly known to have private bank accounts in Switzerland which were facilitated by a certain individual who holds a diplomatic passport.
Follow this story for more details to come.
Editor at Large, GHM News Network