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Neo
9th August 2011, 04:09 PM
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has commenced investigations into a case of alleged falsification of documents by an Italian businessman, Paolo Chiapinni, following a bank transaction.

Mr. Chiapinni, Financial Director of Palazzo Mining Ghana Limited, is accused of forging the signature of one of the partners of the firm to enable him to transfer €14,000 out of the country from the company’s joint account.

The company, upon a tip-off from the bank, then reported the matter to the police, leading to Mr. Chiapinni’s detention at the Nima Divisional Police Command on Monday August 1, 2011.

Information available to Daily Guide indicates that Ben Essuman, a journalist from the Informer newspaper, an NDC government mouthpiece, who claims to be operating from the Castle, the seat of government, after hours of Mr. Chiapinni’s arrest, stormed the Nima Police Station and got a police enquiry bail for the Italian.

According to sources at the Nima Police Station, barely 24 hours after the suspect was granted bail, a phone call came from the Police Headquarters, Accra, requesting that the case be transferred to them. After that, nothing was heard about the case again.

When DAILY GUIDE reached Ben Essuman on phone last Thursday, he admitted being involved in getting Mr. Chiapinni on bail and said it was no big deal.

“The case is four days old. You better go find out and check from your man,” he said, and immediately dropped the call.

The facts of the police preliminary investigations are that a company called Brookland Ghana Limited registered on March 3, 1996, got a prospecting permit to mine the Pramkese Concession in the Kwaebibirim District of the Eastern Region.

After about 14 years, another investor company called ELPPI Srl from Italy entered into a joint venture agreement with Brookland Ghana Limited on March 15, 2010 to form Palazzo Mining Ghana Limited to work on the concession.

According to the source, Palazzo Mining Ghana Limited’s shareholding was such that one Twum Debrah, who owns Brookland Ghana Limited, had 45 percent while Lorenzo Palazzo, owner of ELPPI Srl, had 55 percent.

The source said they had a joint venture account at Standard Chartered Bank, Abeka branch and the signatories to the account were Lorenzo Palazzo, Micheale Palazzo and Paolo Chiapinni.

Additionally, the board of directors was Lorenzo Palazzo, Twum Debrah, Paolo Chiapinni and Micheale Palazzo.

On April 11, 2011, Mr. Chiapinni was said to have attempted to transfer €14,000 of the company’s money at the bank into his personal account and in the process allegedly forged the signature of Lorenzo Palazzo as having authorized the transaction.

He later went to the bank to check if the transfer had gone through but when the bank told him they could not authorize the transfer because they suspected the signature had been forged, Mr. Chiapinni requested the cheque, and in the presence of the bank staff, tore it into pieces in anger and left.

According to the source, the bank alerted the other signatories to the account and also kept copies of the document destroyed by Mr. Chiapinni.

The case was later reported to the Nima Police, after the company’s board had held a meeting and Mr. Chiapinni was invited and detained. But the Informer reporter stormed the police station to bail the suspect.

As soon as Mr. Chiapinni was granted bail, the Nima police was ordered to hand over the case to the headquarters and that was the last time the case was investigated.



Source: William Yaw Owusu