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New Investigation Details how Politically-Connected Ghanaians Acquired Real Estate in Dubai With “Dirty Money”

Of the 21 Africans mentioned in the report, four are Ghanaians - notably, former MP and Minister of Roads and Highways, Inusah Fuseini. Mr. Fuseini is said to own 20 properties valued between $ 331,700 and $ 499, 400.

A recent investigative report by a global independent publication, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has revealed how some politically connected Ghanaians invested millions in real estate in Dubai under questionable sources.

The report, How Dirty Money Finds a Home in Dubai Real Estate, was published in mid-May and detailed how dozens of individuals with political ties and criminally exposed persons linked to drug cartels and other criminal groups acquired real estate wealth in Dubai.

The UAE city known for its high-rise buildings offers an allure for those with ill-gotten cash to spend, the report said.

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“Dubai’s reputation for financial secrecy, its lack of property taxes, and relative political stability have also made the city an appealing spot for those looking to safely park funds abroad should the political tides turn against them at home,” parts of the investigation noted.

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But with the help of leaked property data, dating back from 2022 and 2020, reporters with the OCCRP and Norwegian financial outlet E24, uncovered how Dubai “has opened its arms to disreputable characters from around the globe”, when it should have instead raised “red flags” under basic risk assessments.

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“In properties you are not going to be questioned from any department. Here are people, they have cash… and they don’t know where to put it. They cannot put like 100 million dirhams ($27.2 million) in the bank. There will be hundreds of questions. If you sell the property and then you transfer all the amount in the bank account, then there is no problem,” a realtor interviewed by OOCRP reporters is quoted to have said. Dubai authorities however denied the claims.

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Of the 21 Africans mentioned in the report, four are Ghanaians – notably, former MP and Minister of Roads and Highways, Inusah Fuseini, a former judge at the Supreme Court and ECOWAS Court, Justice Anthony Alfred Benin, a former Electoral Commission Finance Director, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, and former MP and Chief of the NPA, Moses Aduko Asaga.

Inusah Fuseini, according to the report owned 20 properties valued between $331,700 and $ 499, 400, while others including the former Supreme Court judge, Alfred Benin, Kwaku Asamoah, and Moses Aduko Asaga owned two ($205,800-$206,500), ($310,500 -$313,100) and one ($133,100) properties respectively.

“Joseph Anthony Asamoah confirmed he was registered as a co-owner of the properties but said he had not unpaid for them and that they were acquired by another person.”

Some Ghanaians on social media have expressed shock at the details of the report.

“What’s the opposition going to say about this? The former president has been campaigning to recover stolen money if elected. What does he have to say about a former minister in his government owning real estate worth ~$6.5 million in Dubai alone?”, one user wrote on X.

OCCRP said its journalists spent months confirming the identity of owners in the data using open-source research, official records, previous leaks, and other forms of reporting.

“Only those individuals whose identities could be verified and who are considered in the public interest — either because of their alleged criminal pasts or political prominence — have been included in this project,” the report said.  The project was published by more than 70 media outlets around the globe.

Find the full report here.

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