A 35-year-old Nigerian who claimed he had gold bars deposited at a security vault in Ghana and lured a Nigerien into the country on the pretext of helping him clear the consignment, has been arrested by the Nima Police.
The suspect, Paul Ugo, allegedly told the complainant that he needed 4.5 million CFA to enable him to clear the goods from the Daniel Security Company in Accra.
Ugo was said to have stayed with the complainant in Niger from September 2007 to date and the complainant spent 1.7 million CFA for the suspect's upkeep and their transportation to Ghana.
According to the Nima Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Angwubotuge Awuni, in August last year, the suspect went to Niger and told the complainant that he had deposits of gold in Ghana and needed a partner because he intended to invest in that country.
He said Ugo told the complainant that he had established a gold mining company in Ghana with a Tunisian partner who died tragically so he had taken over the company.
To substantiate his claim, the suspect provided a death certificate of his supposed partner and other documents covering the company and said he needed the 4.5 million CFA for documentation and security charges in order to move the consignment to Niger.
The complainant then contacted a lawyer who advised that they should travel together to Ghana to verify things for themselves before investing any money.
On arrival in Ghana, they went to the Niger Embassy for advice on the issue and when the suspect was interrogated by the officials he gave conflicting responses.
Chief Superintendent Awuni said initially Ugo claimed to be a Gambian businessman by name Abubakari Ugo but he later said he was a Liberian refugee.
He said the embassy officials realised that he was a criminal so they handed him over to the police for further investigations into the issue.
Upon interrogation he broke down and told the police that he was a Nigerian who hailed from Enugu and that he was contracted to Algeria for some construction works.
He said on his return to Nigeria he ran out of money in Niger so he decided to find a means of survival.
The divisional commander warned members of the public to beware of fraudsters and 419 scammers who would cash in on the forthcoming Ghana 2008 tournament to dupe people.
Story by Mary Mensah