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21.05.2008 Crime & Punishment

Returnee from Barbados drags tour operator to court

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Frank Emmanuel Duncan, a social worker who is accused of organizing a trip for some Ghanaians to Barbados but got them stranded during the journey on Tuesday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
Duncan, whose plea was not taken is being held for defrauding by false pretences and issuing false cheque with face value of GH¢ 3,000.
Duncan is said to have collected from Mr Gideon Ansah Boateng, the complainant, 2,000 dollars and his VW saloon car with the promise he would take him to Trinidad and Tobago, secure a 20-day hotel accommodation, a job which would earn him 10 dollars per hour.
The accused who failed to deliver on his promises is to reappear at the same court on May 27.
Mr. Joseph Acheampong, one of the Defence counsels prayed the court to grant his client bail because he had been in incarceration for the past six days.
According to Mr. Acheampong, his client sent the complainant and others to Trinidad and Tobago but added that things did not go well for them.
He expressed his disgust at the Police, whom he said, brought suspects to court under the pretext that they were still investigating the matter.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr George Abavelim, the prosecutor said investigations were underway because many of the complainants were trooping in to lodge complaints.
The court however, said since the accused person's plea had not been taken it could not admit him to bail.
Prosecution said complaint was among the Ghanaian returnees from Barbados while accused was also a Chief Executive Officer of New Ghana Youth Development Association, a non-governmental organization.
In October last year, Duncan decided to halt the incident of Ghanaians travelling to Spain and Italy through Libya across the Mediterranean Sea.
Duncan's organization therefore embarked on operation code named “OPERATION HAULT”. By this drive, Duncan started organizing young men with the intention of operating a charter flight to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean where visas would be obtained.
ASP Abavelim said in January this year, Duncan organized 38 people including the complainant to be sent to Trinidad and Tobago.
Duncan went on air and spoke about his package of 5,000 dollars for each person and promised to provide a 20 days hotel accommodation, a job with minimum pay of 10 dollars per hour with insurance inclusive.
Prosecution said later Duncan saw an advertisement from Season Travel and Tour, which was organizing a two week vacation tour to Barbados also in the Caribbean and purchased 43 air tickets worth 1,999 dollars each for the group and put the group onboard a Ghana International Airline flight to Barbados on January 31, this year.
The prosecutor said Duncan could not fulfil his promise and Mr Boateng on his arrival in Ghana demanded for a refund. Duncan issued a Barclays Bank cheque with face value of GH¢ 3,000 to Mr Boateng from whom he had collected his VW Vento saloon car valued at GH¢ 3,000 cedis from but the cheque bounced.

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