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07.05.2007 General News

Cyber fraud: Three hooked

By myjoyonline

Three young men were arrested on Thursday for allegedly duping a Canadian woman of 114,000 Canadian dollars.

They are Samuel Kena, 18, Nana Kofi, 19 and Bernard Nartey, alias Barrister Louis Nukunu, 20, described by the police as cyber fraudsters.

Briefing The Times last Friday, the head of Commercial Crime Unit of the Police CID, Assistant Commissioner K.K. Amoah, said Nana Kofi came into contact with the victim, Blanchet Bonnie, 41, through the internet and she expressed interest in marrying a Ghanaian.

He said Nana Kofi introduced himself to Blanchet as a traditional ruler and proposed to marry her. As the relationship between the two grew deeper, Blanchet invited Nana to visit her in Canada last month so that they could plan for their marriage.

Blanchet first sent 8,000 Canadian dollars to Nana to process his travelling documents to Canada.

On receiving the money, Nana told Blanchet that though he had procured his passport, he found it difficult to get a Canadian visa and work permit because of the huge fees charged by the Canadian High Commission and the travel agencies.

He said Blanchet sent some more money to Nana to facilitate the processing of his travel documents, after which he sent a mail to Blanchet that all was set for him to visit her in Canada.

Mr Amoah said when Nana was supposed to leave for Canada he dispatched another mail to Blanchet that he had been arrested and detained at the Heathrow Airport, London, where he transited. He said he was being held for not possessing valid documents covering a number of gold ornaments he was taking to her as gifts.

In yet another mail to Blanchet, Nana said because of the maltreatment and embarrassment caused him at the Heathrow, he decided to return to Ghana where he was hospitalised.

Mr Amoah said in line with the plan of the suspects, Nartey who described himself to Blanchet as Nana's Lawyer and Kena as secretary, now joined in corresponding with Blanchet claiming that because of Nana's ill-health and frequent check-ups in hospital, he had asked them to keep in touch with her.

At a point, the two arranged for Blanchet to communicate with Nana from his sick bed to wish him speedy recovery and in the course of the conversation, Nana told her on the phone: "Oh dear, I am dying, I am dying" and then the line was cut.

Mr Amoah said Nartey called Blanchet and told her that Nana's blood pressure went up in the course of their conversation and he passed away during the conversation.

Blanchet became suspicious and subsequently reported the matter to the Canadian High Commission in Accra, which also informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A report was made to the Police CID to investigate the case.

Mr Amoah said the police requested Blanchet to send some money to Nartey and Kena through a bank supposedly as funeral donation to Nana's family.

He said the Police took cover at the bank and arrested Nartey, Kena and the "dead man" Nana when they went to take the money.

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