BNI yet to release report on gambling at Ghana's mission in Japn (SPREAD)

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is still investigating allegations that Ghana’s mission in Japan had been involved in an illegal gambling business which had led to the arrest of 10 Japanese.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Thomas Kwesi Quartey, told the Daily Graphic that the report was yet to be released.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration had, in a statement issued by the sector Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh, said it was being assisted by its staff in Japan to conduct its own investigations into the matter.

Mr Quartey told the Daily Graphic on March 25, 2014, that investigation into the alleged letting out of part of a property belonging to the mission to a gang of Japanese gamblers, had gone far and indicated that interviewing Ghana's current Ambassador to Japan on the issue would facilitate the completion of the investigations.

He declined to make any further comment on the investigations, insisting that any commentary would come only after the conclusion of the investigations.

But six months down the line, the deputy minister said a report was yet to be released on the matter that had necessitated Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, Mr Edmund Kofi Agbenutse Deh, being invited to explain the circumstances that led to the alleged letting out of part of the property to a gang of Japanese gamblers.

“The issue is being investigated high up by the BNI. I can’t give any details now,” he said.
The casino bust

According to media reports, on March 5, this year, the police in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, arrested 10 people suspected of running an illegal gambling business in a room leased in the name of a former Ghana Ambassador to Japan, Mr William George Mensah Brandful.

Nine of the 10 had admitted the charges against them, but the 10th person, Hiroyuki Yamanoi, 35, had denied them, police sources said.

The police were also said to have seized more than $100,000.

Some of the suspects were said to have revealed that they thought they would not be arrested because the casino belonged to the Ghana Embassy.

The Tokyo police were also reported to have asked the present Ghana Ambassador to Japan to accept questioning over the incident.

The lease contract for the room was signed in September 2012, upon the presentation of the previous ambassador’s identification, and was handed over to the current envoy, according to the media reports.

However, Ms Tetteh said initial investigations had revealed that the immediate past Ambassador, Mr Brandful, had signed documents regarding the rental of the premises used for the alleged illegal activity.

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