Sakawa victim stranded
5/21/2012 4:36:15 PM -
A 54-year-old American-Canadian, Braenda Louise Branton, who was defrauded of $37,000 by some Sakawa boys via the internet, is stranded in Tamale.
Branton, who is now surviving on the benevolence of management of Bigiza Hotel where she lodged since her arrival in Ghana last year, is said to have exhausted her cash.
Daily Guide gathered that she has become a burden on the management who feed and accommodate her due to her helpless situation while the matter is being pursued in court.
Till date, no relation of hers has shown up to offer any form of support to her.
It is unclear if the suspects currently on remand will be able to cough up the amount they cunningly succeeded in taking from her.
She told Daily Guide that she could not afford an airfare back to Canada where she sold all her property including her car and house, for the non-existent project.
Meanwhile, William Quansah- 20 and Eric Kofi alias Sadat Abdulai-29, who were arrested in connection with the incident will make another court appearance at a Tamale circuit court on Tuesday.
The two, who pleaded not guilty on four counts, were remanded by the court presided over George K. Addai while police are on a wild hunt for Godfred Adjei alias Junior, the main architect of the fraud.
It would be recalled that the police in Tamale unmasked the group who defrauded foreigners via internet under various pretexts.
Their cover was blown after one of them posed as husband of Branton sojourning in Ghana, and succeeded in defrauding her of $37,000.
Facts of the case said the three conspired and hacked into the email of Branton's husband and interacted with her while she was in Canada, indicating that the husband had secured a lucrative contract to be executed.
The suspects told Branton that her husband had purportedly been awarded a contract by Globacom- a telecommunications company in Ghana- to build dozens of estates and various structures throughout the country.
The amount involved is believed to be running into several millions of dollars and to succeed in their bid, they demanded that Branton send down money to pre-finance the project and forged a number of documents to back the claim.
All this while, Godfred Adjei alias Junior, currently on the run, posed as Branton's husband who was in a strained relationship with his wife, prior to the execution of the scam, leading to both parting ways for a number of years.
Convinced her support could reunite them, the victim sold her house and other property valued at $50,000 and sent $35,000 through a banker's draft to the suspects.
Having succeeded in milking the white lady of all her money, the suspects lured her into Ghana under the guise of inspecting work on the non-existent project sites and also take the opportunity to meet the husband.
On September 2011, she arrived in Ghana and was met at the airport by William Quansah who took her to a hotel around Osu while Godfred Adjei, on phone, still posed as the husband.
She was later brought to Tamale by suspect Eric Kofi and made to sign several documents purported to have been part of the contractual agreements.
Suspect Eric Kofi demanded several sums from her before endorsing some of the documents as portions required a Ghanaian guarantor.
The suspect later went to Bigiza Hotel and booked a room for Branton with the promise of paying later.
Free accommodation formed part of the agreement as contained in one of the documents, which gave her the leverage to stay in any hotel of her choice without payment.
He however failed to honour his promise of settling the bill which accumulated to GH¢ 11,478, raising suspicion among owners of the hotel.
A complaint was lodged with the police in Tamale and upon his arrest; it was uncovered that the entire deal was a scam with several others involved leading to the arrest of William Quansah.
Branton, who suspected that she had been defrauded also, lodged a complaint compounding the woes of the two suspects who were arraigned on charges of conspiracy of kidnapping, defrauding by false pretences and stealing.
A Kia Sephia saloon car with registration number GS 54 11, with the inscription 'Cyber Angel' on the rear windscreen, was retrieved from the suspects and is in police custody.