In what appears like a dramatic display of affluence or exhibition of flamboyant lifestyle, as demonstrated by the characters in Billions Club, a popular Nigerian movie, the Aheneboboano round-about near the royal Manhyia Palace, seat of the Asantehene in Kumasi, was on Monday, August 21, adorned with several millions of CFA and dollar currencies.
This spectacular show of wealth was enacted when the monies contained in a bag, tied to a motor bike being ridden by Alhaji Yusif, a prominent business magnate in Kumasi, with Sulemana Mohammed, 54, the pillion rider of the motorbike, spilled profusely at Aheneboboano, when the motor bike was involved in a road accident.
A horde of probing eye witnesses who rushed to the scene to obviously scramble for the spilled monies and sympathise with the accident victims, were greatly disappointed when eventually it turned out that the so-called foreign currencies were fake. The fake monies concealed in the bag, tied to the motorbike, amounted to $969 000, CFA 2,343 million and ¢ 2,260 million, respectively.
Thus, destiny turned sour and exposed Alhali Yusif and Sulemana to battle with the law when preliminary police investigations established that the duo was allegedly responsible for the printing and proliferation of the monies. Briefing a cross-section of journalists on the incident, yesterday, at the Regional Police Headquarters, Mr. S.C Oteng, deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander said, while Yusif sustained varying degrees of injuries, Sulemana escaped unhurt.
He said Yusif was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to seek medical attention, while Sulemana was busted by the Manhyia Police on Monday, at about 12 pm, when the accident involving their motorbike and an unidentified private car, suddenly occurred.
According to the deputy Ashanti Police Commander, the unidentified private car knocked down the motorbike and its occupants, who were allegedly on their way to the Allah Bar area, to criminally exchange their monies with genuine currencies, when luck eluded them. Describing the incident as sensational during the presentation of facts, Mr. Oteng said, on Monday, at bout 12 noon, information reached the Manhyia Police that a car had knocked down a motorbike at Aheneboboano.
He related that the informant gave the police a tip off that various sums of faked US dollars and CFA Francs had spilled as a result of the motor accident.
According to him, besides the huge sums of aforementioned counterfeit currencies found on them, the police retrieved from the suspects, a small, but sophisticated electronic device believed to be a printing gadget, allegedly used for their operations.
Currently, the deputy Ashanti Police Chief said the suspected money printer, the motor bike and the faked monies are in police custody, while investigations continue. It will be recalled that in the Monday, August 21 edition of Daily Guide, there was published a story about a four-man suspected '419' syndicate, believed to be dealing in the printing and distribution of both local and foreign currencies in the Kumasi metropolis. The suspects, who are presently in the grips of the law, were identified as George Gyasi, 43, trader, a native of Nkoranza, Brong-Ahafo, and Amita Yahaya, 49, Salaga, embroidery designer. The rest were, Donald Dhaiking, 67-year-old Ghanaian-Scottish half-caste, a retired navigator, and Samuel Owusu Boateng, 46, of Juaben extraction, Ashanti.
The suspected '419' syndicate, with the deceptive glorious-looking countenance, according to the police, nearly succeeded in collecting $27000 from a certain George Oppong, under the false pretext of exchanging it for him at CFA 377 million.
In the face of the emerging trend of criminal activities, the police had warned the public to be extra vigilant and on alert when dealing with unfamiliar people.