The Herald’s continuous investigations into the international embarrassment suffered by Ghana at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, have unearthed further disgraceful information, indicating top officials of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), did not only smuggle people into Australia under the cover of journalism but also sneaked in their siblings.
The relatives of the top GOC administrators, who are behind the visa deals, were disguised as athletes and officials of the various federations under the Olympic Committee.
Interestingly, some of the disciplines offered accreditations and visas, did not qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
The Herald’s investigations, also revealed that the disciplines that qualified for the games had their teams heavily infiltrated by people who paid various sums of money, ranging from Ghana cedi to Euros to go, live and work and in that country. This is aside the family and friends of the GOC officials, including Hussein Addy and Christine Ashley.
For instance, while the 1st Vice President of the GOC, Paul Atchoe, reportedly sneaked his relatives by name Martin Atchoe and Sampson Atchoe, the President of Ghana Swimming Association, Theophilus Edzie, also sneaked in his relative by name Alexander Edzie.
It also came to the knowledge of The Herald that, as early as March this year, the GOC, had a brush with the Australian Immigration with some members of the beach volleyball athletes detained at Brisbane Airport. This was because most members of the beach volleyball list were not athletes.
Indeed, Ghana’s Beach Volley team did not qualify for Australia. The Beach Volley Team was created for visa racketeering. Ghana Swimming Association also had some members as part of its team with doubtful credentials.
Ghana had failed to qualify for beach volleyball, but the First Vice President of GOC, who doubles as the President of the Ghana Volleyball Association, drew a team in the country’s name and placed two of his siblings as part of the team.
The same First Vice President was the one who requested for Australian visas and accreditation for and on behalf of some journalists, including Isaac Ofori of Angel Broadcasting Network based in Kumasi.
Included in the list were; Jonathan Sarpong, Bismarck Adu-Manu, Edward Seidu Ajanako, Amadu Abdul, Paul Akan, Emmanuel Aniniakwaah, Richard Amanor, Martin Atchoe, (Paul Atchoe’s relative) Isaac Barnes
Sampson Atchoe (Paul Atchoe’s relative) and Michael Bruce.
Officials on the trip with the Beach Volleyball Team were; Richard Boasiako, Gloria Boatemaah and Ahmed Bouda Taal Drammeh.
In the case of the Ghana Swimming Association (GSA), led by Theophilus Edzie, who doubles as GOC Deputy Treasurer, names such as Ayuba Swallah, Abdul Rahim Ninche, Ahmed Musa, Ahmed Seini, Richard Kpapko, Zaini Ayuba, Yakubu Hunu, Emmanuel Gyinae, were identified as fake swimmer on the trip.
Mohammed Aggrey, Dotse Agorku, Henry Blay, Alexander Edzie (Relative of Swimming President Edzie),
Philip Mensah, Prince Mohammed Larry, Dennis Nyantakyi and Adam Abu, were smuggled on the trip but disguised as officials of GSA.
Doubts have also been raised about the credential of Abdul Taylor, Ashiade Dzotis, Frank Annin, Lamidi Osuman, Donatus Dzakpas, Razak Agbosu, Peter Cofie, Sekina Bempong, Hamdiya Ahmed and Abdul Mohammed with claims that they paid the visa racketeers to be smuggled into Australia through the Commonwealth Game at Gold Coast.
This paper is informed that a list of 90 journalists was drawn; a tramp card for the visa racketeers, as it allowed them to add a lot more people under the guise of being athletes and officials, respectively.
A media accreditation Non-Valid Pass gave its holder an automatic entry to Australia, however, the visa racketeers, failed to educate the holders how to beat Australian immigration.
The GOC had asked the journalists to apply for accreditation and the journalists did. GOC sent the applications to Australia for approval, but the accreditations were given to fake people by the GOC.
Hussein Addy and Christine Ashley
The Herald is informed that the GOC, National Sports Authority (NSA) and Ministry of Youth and Sports, all are involved in the scandal with Hussein Addy and Christine Ashley, as powerful persons behind the visa racketeer allegedly selling the visas for GH¢15,000- GH¢22,000.
Others were said to have paid 4,000 euros to 5,000 euros.
Hussein Addy and Christine, have since been deported from Australia, but Paul Atchoe, is still at the games.
Hussein is Secretary-General of the Weightlifting Association and the right-hand man of Weightlifting Association President, Ben Nunoo Mensah, who is also the GOC President.
Christine Ashley, is also Mr Nunoo Mensah’s special assistant at GOC, as well as his special secretary. It was said that Christine is the person to see when one wants to see Mr. Nunoo Mensah at GOC.
Interestingly, Christine is Secretary General of Volleyball Association, while Paul Atchoe, serves as its president.
The Buck stops with Chef de Mission Mohammed Sahnoon
According to insiders, despite the roles played by Hussein and Christine, the buck stops with the leader of the delegation, Mohammed Sahoon, who also doubles as President of Cycling Association. He was the final authority in everything on paper. He and Ben Nunoo Mensah, made all the decisions. No decisions were made without them.
Sahnoon was the contact person for everything about the Commonwealth Game representing Ghana at all meetings in Australia before and during games.
After Federations submitted final entries on March 7, 2018, it was Sahnoon’s duty to clean the Ghanaian register. Sahnoon presented Ghana’s final team on March 22, 2018, including some of the fake names he was clearly aware of.
The Herald is told that the Australians had noticed that Ghana had exceeded its official allocation of 156, and got a red alert to human trafficking and visa racketeering forcing them to ask critical questions, leading to the detention of 50 persons, who were given fake identities as journalists. Some have since been sent back to Ghana.
Other Ghanaians were stopped at Singapore on their way to Australia; they were detained and later deported.