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Ghana Says It Didn’t Authorize Reported Gold Shipment to Iran

Ghana’s government said it didn’t authorize a gold shipment to Iran after a cargo plane carrying the precious metal from the African country was detained en route by Turkish authorities earlier this month.

Ghana, Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, has “not engaged in any transaction with Iran that requires the discharge of any ‘financial commitments’ to that country in gold,” the office of President John Dramani Mahama said in an e-mailed statement today.

The cargo plane, owned by a Turkish freight company, was carrying bars of gold valued at $80 million and was held at an airport in Istanbul because paperwork for the shipment was missing, according to the Accra-based Daily Guide newspaper. The Ghanaian government is investigating the reports, the presidency said.

Last week, Mahama returned from a three-day state visit to Turkey, his first trip to a foreign country since he was sworn in on Jan. 7 after winning an election last month, according to his Facebook page.

A day after his inauguration, Mahama met with Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, in what was his “first official engagement as president of Ghana,” according to his Facebook page. Ghana wants to use Iranian expertise for its oil and gas industry, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pauline Bax in Accra at pbax@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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