A former Vice President of the Ghana Olympic Committee and current President of the Ghana Badminton Association, Evans Kojo Yeboah, was arrested by the Greater Accra Police station on Thursday, 20th January 2022 on suspicion of visa racketeering.
According to sources at the Central Police station, he was arrested at a Badminton event at the Accra Sports stadium on 21st January and held for about 12 hours.
A police source confirmed the story when contacted, adding that the case was currently under investigation. He is said to have collected GH12, 000 out of an agreed sum of Gh36, 000 from the complainant, a lady known as Yaa Lungni, to facilitate her trip outside Ghana.
Mr. Yeboah was said to have made a part payment before he was bailed by two individuals with a promise to pay the rest of the amount in the coming weeks.
The development came about because the accused had reneged on an earlier promise to report in-person at the station after the Police had contacted him. The accused is said to have severed communication with the complainant over the last few months, leading the complainant to formally complain to the Police.
It will be recalled that Evans Yeboah was one of the people who was reprimanded by the GOC disciplinary sub-committee for irregularities in the registration of athletes and officials that resulted in the infamous Australia 2018 Commonwealth Games visa fraud. Over 100 Ghanaians were detained and deported from airports in Australia and Singapore during the 2018 Commonwealth Games for attempting to enter Australia by false pretense. Several GOC and government officials were found to be directly complicit in the crime after an investigation by the GOC disciplinary sub-committee.
But months later, a group calling itself Concerned Badminton Stakeholders revealed Evans was under investigation by the World Badminton Federation for similar visa racketeering schemes involving none badminton players.
The latter players were registered on the international badminton website by the accused for international competitions around the world but the World badminton governing body realised none of those registered players actually took part in the events despite the fact they had acquired visas and had arrived at the event destinations.
Further, two senior badminton players Grace Atipaka and Daniel Sam accused the badminton boss of denying them their 2018 Commonwealth Games scholarships worth 5,000 pounds each respectively.
The badminton board has currently suspended about 100 percent of the senior national badminton players following their public utterances on alleged injustices meted out to them by the current President and the board. In their place, a national U-17 team is currently being prepared for international assignments such as the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The faith of the last elective congress of the badminton association in November 2021 is currently being contested in court by a group of badminton stakeholders who insists the election was fraudulent, coupled with fake members of congress among other things.
Significantly, nobody has been held responsible for the Australia Commonwealth Games visa racketeering scam till date.