Union Travel and Recruitment, initially Travel and Tours, an offshoot of Union Group of Companies, has been going through a hard time in the hands of its aggrieved customers for a couple of months now due to some operational challenges they have suffered.
Customers of the travel and recruitment company have taken the law into their own hands to attack the Chief Executive Officer of Union Group of Companies, the brand ambassador of the company, Portia Asare Boateng, and some staff members of the company over either the non-provision of their travel permits/documents or their unpaid visa application facilitation and processing fees refund.
It is unfortunate, there are vlogs and other news blogs circulating falsehoods regarding the failed visa acquisition and the company without recourse to the tenets and laid down procedures in dealing with issues of same.
In an exclusive interview with Republic Press, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Group of Companies Limited, Dr. Augustine Opoku Agyemang disclosed some details of the occurrences behind the story. He indicates that it is unfortunate that matters have had to take this turn. It is not a deliberate ploy to dupe any individual or a group of people.
The substance of the issue at stake is that the Managing Director, Madam Maud Opoku Agyemang, the then General Manager, Mr Evans Adawu and the Manager of the Union Travel and Tour were in charge of the customers who paid money for the visa processing.
He indicated that clients were received, briefed on the offers at stake and advised to be in their legal representations to be sure whether they would want to participate in the offers available.
According to the CEO, the agent, Sabby Debrah failed to honour her promise of securing the visas for about 313 applicants. Queen Sabby Debrah is reported to have gone into hiding refusing to refund the money to the company following many attempts to get her arrested.
The source noted that the manager of the Travel and Tour company, Daniel Brako, and another staff, whose name has been withheld since internal investigations are ongoing, failed to issue receipts to some customers who paid their money to secure visas to Canada, the UK, Germany, and Australia, respectively.
As of May 5, 2023, the company is unable to access a total amount of GH¢713,000 reportedly paid to Madam Maud Opoku Agyemang, the Managing Director of the Union Group of Companies.
The company’s audit report and bank statement indicated that there was no such amount paid into the company’s account. It is unclear where the GH¢713,000 was siphoned off by these employees of the company, as the case was reported to the police to investigate the matter.
Dr. Opoku Agyemang said these are issues that he believes are not to be thrown out there to clients because it is the responsibility of the UGCL to deliver on their word thus we, as a company, was and is focused on meeting the terms of engagement.
Inadvertently, the aggrieved customers wrongly accused the CEO of Union Group of Companies and the brand ambassador, Portia Asare Boateng, of misappropriating their funds.
The Chief Executive Officer, Dr Augustine Opoku Agyemang, following a series of meetings with the aggrieved customers, pledged to pay back money owed to all customers whose visa processing failed once the client produces their authentic receipts as an attachment to an application letter selling for a refund from the company.
True to his word, the CEO ordered a full refund, as about 46 customers have received their payments, with others being worked on by the staff.
Attack on Union Group of Companies Staff
Dr. Augustine Opoku Agyemang has expressed displeasure over the attack on staff by some agitated customers following their unpaid cash.
According to him, some identified customers stormed the Westland office to ransack the place. The swift intervention of the Westland Police saved the lives of the staff who were in the office.
Again, some customers travelled to the Techiman and Sunyani branches to attack employees with cutlasses but were arrested by the police.
Attack on Portia Asare, Brand Ambassador of Union Group of Companies
Dr. Augustine Opoku Agyemang has cautioned aggrieved customers to stop threatening actress Portia Asare over their unpaid funds. He also warned bloggers to stop publishing false news about the brand ambassador.
According to the CEO, the brand ambassador did her job as expected but was never in charge of the visa funds paid to the company.
Some customers have attacked Portia’s husband, ignorantly claiming the actress collected those visa fees to revamp her husband’s work.
Actress Portia Asare Boateng is not a scammer, as purported by some individuals. The actress’s brand is paramount to UGCL management, and they would not do anything to jeopardize her reputation. Portia has rather been scammed, if there is a scamming, by Queen Sabby Debrah for failing to secure her visa for her trip after receiving funds from our Brand Ambassador for the purpose.
Portia, who is worried about the misappropriation of funds by the aforementioned staff members of the company, says she is optimistic that all aggrieved customers will receive their refund accordingly.
She is just pained that many would take to her social media pages and attach her without seeking clarity on the developments. She used the opportunity granted her from our search for the truth in the circumstances to apologize to the many clients who have had to go through this ordeal.
Portia indicated that she used to interact and worked to use her position as Brand Ambassador to intervene in the bid to have redress to the problem but had to stop when she started to be verbally threatened, cursed and emotionally brutalized.
She only hopes and prays that a lasting solution would be found to this issue so sleeping dogs could lie peacefully.
“Our job comes with such risks,” she ended.
About Union Group of Companies
The Union Group of Companies is one of the most diversified holdings companies in Ghana with operations in other African countries and Europe.
The firm has business interests in about 10 sectors of the economy with its biggest operations in Real Estate, Philanthropy and Multimedia as well as Automobile and Transport.
Helping their clients see the world differently, and discover opportunities, the company boasts of a huge workforce of young and old talented and skilled personnel with a good balance in gender, race, and social stratification. Union Group of Companies has built strong relationships with the government and other businesses.
There are many students under scholarships awarded to them by UGCL who would be home without any hopes of furtherance of their education. Some schools have been aided to either renovate or build their schools.
UGCL has been duly fulfilling all statutory requirements for Companies in Ghana since its inception.
Reaction from the accused persons
Republic Press reached out to the persons named in the misappropriation [Daniel Brako, Evans Adawu, Maud Opoku Agyemang, and Sabi Debrah] but to no avail.