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18.07.2006 Crime & Punishment

Bank fraud, five arrested, one on the run

Bank fraud, five arrested, one on the run
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Five persons who forged a Western Union Money Transfer slip and attempted to cash it at different branches of the Prudential Bank in Accra, have been arrested by the Accra Central Police.

They are Barnabas Kumi Essel, an employee of the Panafest Foundation (Nigeria Branch), Kwesi Brown, a tailor, Adama Issahak, a salesman, Michael Matthew Peretu, a trader, and Henry Sonny Osas, unemployed.

A sixth person, whose name was given only as Emeka, is on the run.

The District Commander of the Accra Central Police Station, Superintendent Hackman Afful, who disclosed this in Accra, said on July 5, 2006, Kumi and Brown went to the Makola Branch of the Prudential Bank with a piece of scanned document from the Internet to withdraw 5,000 dollars purported to have been sent to the City of Refuge Orphanage, a non-governmental organization operating in the country, by one Barry Malrose from the USA.

He said Kumi filled the Western Union Money Transfer form, which was signed by Brown, who also presented his Ghanaian passport as a form of identification.

He said the cashier detected that the name on the scanned document differed from the name on the passport and suspected that the two were criminals so he reported to the manager of the bank, who had Kumi and Brown arrested and later handed them over to police, together with the exhibits.

Superintendent Afful said the following day, July 6, 2006, using the same modus operandi, Adama went to the Head Office of the Prudential Bank with a scanned Western Union Money Transfer form bearing the name of Ali Baba to withdraw $5,000 purported to have been sent by the same Barry Malrose from the USA to one Ali Baba Bello.

He said Adama, after filling the Western Union receiver form, signed it and presented his voter identity card but the deal was detected by the cashier, who raised an alarm and he was subsequently arrested and handed over to the police.

The District Commander said upon interrogation, the suspects mentioned Peretu as the one who introduced Emeka, who is at large, to them. Peretu also gave them the slips and asked them to assist him to withdraw the said money from the bank.

They led the police to Matthew's house where he was also arrested.

He said after Adama's arrest at the Makola Branch of the bank, Sonny also went there the same day with the same scanned slip to cash the $5,000 and he was also arrested and handed over to the police

Superintendent Afful said investigations at the Electoral Commission's office in Accra revealed that the voter identity card found on Adama was fake.

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