Friday, October 23, 2020

UK Tv show star Philip Middlemiss wanted in Ghana over bribery allegations


A former Coronation Street star is wanted for questioning by police in Ghana over an alleged bribery scandal at the heart of government.

Philip Middlemiss, who during the 1990s played the role of the serial womaniser Des Barnes in the ITV soap, was one of four people to be named by investigators in relation to the sale of military planes to the west African government.

The former actor, 56, moved there after leaving the show in 1998 to make a film but ran out of money before it was finished. He then worked as a travel consultant and claimed in an interview to have befriended the brother of the vice-president.

The bribery investigation he is being sought in connection with relates to the £50 million sale of three Airbus C-295 aircraft to the Ghanaian government between 2009 and 2015.

- Advertisement -

Ghana was among more than a dozen countries involved in a $4 billion (£3.3 billion) settlement Airbus agreed with European and American investigators over alleged bribes to secure the sales of its aircraft. The US Department of Justice described the deal as the largest ever foreign bribery settlement.

After a four-year investigation, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said in February that Airbus had hired a close relative of a government official in Ghana who had no aerospace experience, paying him about €5 million (£4.4 million).

John Mahama, Ghana’s former president, is accused of having links to a corrupt network that would receive kickbacks during the contract tendering process.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was in power at the time, has denied the bribery claims.

- Advertisement -

Martin Amidu, the country’s special prosecutor, began a formal investigation and announced that he had summoned four people and released their passport details online. They include Mr Middlemiss, two other Britons and a dual British-Ghanaian citizen.

In March Mr Amidu revealed that Mr Middlemiss was suspected of working as a project manager for Airbus.

The investigation also includes “collaborating with Ghanaian public officers to use their public office for private profit or benefit in the purchase of three C-295 aircraft by the government of Ghana from Airbus”.

Leanne Davis, Mr Middlemiss’s girlfriend, told The Sun that she had no knowledge of the investigation. “I don’t know anything about that. Phil’s not here. I’m not sure when he’ll be back,” she said. Mr Middlemiss has not responded to a request for comment.

Mr Middlemiss, who is originally from Hartlepool, lives in a £400,000 detached property in Greater Manchester. He studied drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic art and appeared in Coronation Street from 1990 to 1998. The character of Des Barnes was killed off against the actor’s wishes.

In 2012 he declared himself bankrupt, citing his abortive attempt to make a film in Africa as the reason for his financial hardship.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “It was partly funded by myself but I didn’t have the money to fund the rest of the film. Filming came to a grinding halt. It was nearly three-quarters of the way along the line.

“It has been a difficult time. Three and a half years is a long time to fund myself without any income. I have had to get money from family and friends.”


Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...

Latest News

This Week

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Textile suppliers for fashion retailer Boohoo investigated for money laundering and VAT fraud

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating companies that supply the fast-fashion giant Boohoo on suspicion of money laundering and VAT fraud. Britain’s crime-fighting agency...

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 million after admitting to tax evasion

Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks