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20.02.2007 Crime & Punishment

Two Businessmen Arrested For Internet Fraud

The Akyem Oda Police in the Eastern Region have arrested two Accra-based businessmen for their alleged involvement in a $10,000 Internet fraud.

The suspects, Emmanuel Opoku-Debrah, 26, and Shafiu Tahiru, both managers of Kalssin Computer Network in Accra, managed to withdraw the amount from the Washington account of Mr Anthony Kwaku Owereko, a retired employee of UNICEF, through the bank account of a female customer of a bank in Koforidua.

The woman's name is being withheld for security reasons.

The two men took undue advantage of the Internet, precisely Chatting House on Yahoo where people could make friends the world over.

Briefing the Daily Graphic in Oda, Chief Superintendent Ben Atadana, the Oda Divisional Police Commander said that when the two suspects accessed the Internet, a friend they interacted with directed them to a site where banking transactions were done online and also taught them how they could access anybody's account.

He stated that with the aid of his friend, Opoku-Debrah and Tahiru managed to withdraw $10,000 from Mr Owereko's Washington account without any difficulty, on January 6, this year, and channelled it through the lady's account in Koforidua.

He said the suspects convinced the woman to withdraw the money in cedis for them in two instalments of ¢42 million and ¢50 million.

According to the Divisional Commander, when Mr Owereko tried to access his account on February 6, this year, his identity card and password were rejected by his bank in Washington.

He said when Mr Owereko inquired about the problem, he received a reply from his bankers in Washington that an amount of $10,000 had been withdrawn from his account into an account at the Koforidua branch of the bank.

Chief Supt Atadana said when the victim complained to the bank's head office in Accra about the fraud, pressure was put on the Koforidua branch to explain the circumstances leading to the theft.

He stated that while the Koforidua branch was trying to trace the account holder, the Oda police had already arrested the two suspects and the lady through their network of information.

Chief Supt Atadana said during interrogation, Opoku-Debrah and Tahiru admitted the offence and were helping the police in their investigations.

Story by Samuel Kyei-Boateng