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30.10.2007 Crime & Punishment

Police Arrest Fake Nigerian Doctor

The police have arrested a Nigerian who posed as a medical doctor at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and managed to lure an Indonesian doctor into the country, only to defraud her of over $10,000.

The suspect, William Atavwigho, alias Dr William, was arrested at the Dutch Hotel at Nungua where he had gone to collect more money from the victim.

One other accomplice, known only as James, alias Barrister Edwin, managed to escape and the police have mounted an intensive search for him.

According to the Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Mr Ken Yeboah, on October 17, 2007, the police received information that some individuals had lured an Indonesian woman into the country to defraud her.

The informants told the police that the fraudsters had put the woman up at the Dutch Hotel at Nungua and so some policemen were immediately dispatched to the hotel to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the information.

He said on arrival at the hotel, the police met the victim, Maria Frets Da Silva, a medical doctor and politician from Indonesia, in the company of the suspect, William, a Nigerian who claimed to be a medical doctor working at Korle-Bu.

Mr Yeboah said the suspect was immediately arrested to assist the police in investigations, adding that during interrogation he told the police that he met the Indonesian on the net.

He said because the victim was a doctor, William also informed her that he was also a Ghanaian medical doctor working at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and succeeded in establishing an online relationship with her.

He said as time went on the suspect told the victim that there was a patient at Korle-Bu who was very ill and had a short time to live. He added that the patient was a multi-millionaire with a number of businesses around the globe.

The deputy director-general said William told the victim that the said patient had asked him to look for a foreigner for her in order to bequeath her property to him/her because she wanted her money used to help the less privileged in society, since she did not trust her family or anybody.

He said the victim became interested and after a series of correspondence, she was asked to proceed to Ghana to finish the necessary documentation for the release of the money.

On the arrival of the victim at the Kotoka International Airport, the suspect and his accomplice met her and drove her to the Dutch Hotel and booked a room for her.

The two suspects then collected $10,000 for certification and ownership and her laptop which they claimed would be given to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to facilitate the process.

Mr Yeboah said they also took away her three gold wrist watches to be given to the nurses who were taking care of the rich woman at the hospital.

Meanwhile, police investigations into the incident have revealed that Dr Da Silva had previously been duped, during which she lost $350,000 to some Nigerians in Jakarta, Indonesia.

She had come to Ghana, hoping that she would recover the money she lost to the Nigerians in Jakarta from the estate of the rich dying woman at the Korle-Bu.
Investigations continue.

Story by Mary Mensah