A United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based business group, Africa Middle East Resources Investment (Ameri) Group LLC, has denied inflating the market value of 10 power barges it helped procure for the government of Ghana.
Earlier this week, a Norwegian Newspaper VG published a report hinting on a possible hike in the cost of the barges, procured for the government of Ghana by Ameri Group by more than 200 million dollars. According to the publication, the 10 power turbines Ghana is paying $510 million for are only worth $220 million on the open market.
However in a statement signed by HRH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirati Company, and a member of the ruling family of UAE, Ameri Group called the report "malicious", "false" and "slanderous".
“We would never enter into a deal if it was not done with full transparency and honesty to ensure our integrity,” the statement said. He also denied that any payments have already been made by the Ghana government towards the BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) deal that they entered into.
He explained that one Umar Farooq Zahoor, who according to VG is wanted for financial crimes in Switzerland and Norway, is not the same person who signed as witness for Ameri on the agreement.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum indicated that the company would likely take legal action against VG for defamation. “In response to these allegations, Ameri Group has already retained international law firms to review our legal rights and use them against this slanderous act of the newspaper. Based on their legal advice we will reserve all rights to file a defamation case against VG in Norway on the basis of these unfounded false allegations and accusations.”
The Ministry of Power has also denied the VG report.