Edmond Kofi Agbenutse Deh: Ghana?s Ambassador to Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Police yesterday announced that on March 5, 2014, it raided a casino in the Shibuya entertainment area in Tokyo over illegal gambling operation in a premises allegedly belonging to the Ghanaian Embassy in Japan.
Some of the busted culprits were quoted by Japanese media as confessing to being connected to the Embassy of Ghana in Japan.
Several Japanese media networks including tokyoreporter.com and TV Asahi reported the raid. Ghanaian web portals such as ghanaweb.com and peacefmonline.com also picked up on the report.
There had been no official reaction or response from the embassy in Japan or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the report.
According to Japanese investigators, as reported by Japanese Television Station, TV Asahi, in September of 2012, a rental contract between the casino and the Ghanaian embassy requiring payment of 500,000 yen (approximately US$4,923.50) per month was written, using the name of the previous ambassador of Ghana to Japan Dr. William George Mensah Brandful. The document was signed at the ambassador?s official residence and supported by diplomatic identification.
Further revelations indicated that in March of last year, the name on the contract was changed to that of the current ambassador, Edmond Kofi Agbenutse Deh.
The name of the ambassador appeared on a placard placed at the entrance of the casino. The ambassador also reportedly visited the casino.
Reports gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicated that on March 5, at 11:30 p.m., Japanese Police officers arrested the casino?s manager Hiroyuki Yamanoi, 35, and nine other employees for providing illegal baccarat gambling inside a casino occupying the entire sixth floor of a multi-tenant building located in Dogenzaka. Two customers on the premises at the time were also taken into custody.
Officers seized two baccarat tables and 12 million yen (US$118,164) in cash, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
It is estimated that over the past 17 months, the illegal gambling cartel collected 200 million yen (US$ 1,969,400) in revenue.
When he was busted, one suspect was said to have stated, ?I thought diplomatic immunity was applicable through the Embassy of Ghana, and we would not be caught by the police.?
DAILY GUIDE attempted to reach Foreign Minister, Hanna Tetteh for comments on the damning allegations, but she was unavailable.
According to the Japanese news network, Mainichi Shimbun, this was not the first time foreign diplomats had been linked to illegal gambling rings. In 2010, Tokyo Metropolitan Police officers busted a casino that was paying remuneration to a diplomat with the Embassy of C?te d?Ivoire.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran