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08.10.2008 Crime & Punishment

Businessman held for fraud

Businessman held for fraud

The police have arrested a businessman for allegedly defrauding an Accra-based real estate developer of $36,000 on the pretext of entering into a business partnership with him.

Although discussions prior to the collection of the money centred on the partnership with the victim, it turned out to be a fake currency printing deal.

Mohammed Kazim, alias Banjul, the suspect, was arrested at his New Gbawe residence last Monday by a team of police personnel, led by ASP Ebenezer Nketiah, in charge of Operations at the Commercial Crime Unit. That was after two other suspects, Andy Odia, alias Julius Paul, and Razak Fulan had been arrested earlier in September this year.

The Public Affairs Officer of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Inspector J. B. Darkwah, told the Daily Graphic that on August 23, 2008, the complainant received a telephone call, supposedly from London.

He said the caller introduced himself as Nana Agyeman and indicated that he (Agyeman) was trying to get in contact with somebody and accordingly apologised for calling the wrong number.

Inspector Darkwah said the following day, the complainant again received a call from Agyeman, who eventually told the complainant that his (Agyeman's) boss in London wanted to enter into a partnership with someone in Ghana to establish a real estate business.

According to Inspector Darkwah, the so-called boss of Agyeman with Arabic ascent later spoke and confirmed to the complainant he wanted to establish a real estate business in Ghana with a Ghanaian.

He said the supposed investor later sent a profile of his company, indicating that he owned a chain of jewellery shops across Europe and that he also wanted to buy gold from Ghana.

Inspector Darkwah said the caller then indicated that he had sent someone he identified only as Williamson, described as a gold tester, to test some gold from one Nana Adjei.

He said Agyeman later requested the complainant to collect 20 kilogrammes of gold from Nana Adjei and pay him (Adjei) $36,000.

Agyeman explained to the complainant that his Arabian boss had sent $2.5 million to him (complainant) for the commencement of the real estate development partnership and asked him to deduct whatever expenses he had made on the 20 kilogrammes of gold from the $2.5 million on receipt of the money.

Inspector Darkwah said because of the interest the complainant showed in the real estate business, he decided to make part payment of $10,000 to one of the suspects, Ofori Appiah, on August 29, 2008.

The complainant later made an additional $10,000 payment to another suspect, identified only as Atta, who is currently on the run, after the complainant had been directed to give the money to Atta by Nana Adjei.

According to the CID officer, Agyeman and his so-called boss called the complainant on September 5, 2008 and asked him to meet two men around the Achimota Overhead Bridge to collect the $2.5 million.

He said the complainant, after meeting the two men, paid them the remaining $16,000 before collecting the box purported to contain the $2.5 million.

Inspector Darkwah said the complainant later opened the box and found black pieces of paper cut to the size of $100 bills and a document purported to be a certificate of instructions.

He said the complainant later called one of the men who had handed over the box to him, identified as Andy Odia, alias Julius Paul, to inform him of the contents of the box.

He said Andy then booked an appointment with the complainant to discuss how the black pieces of paper were to be washed into real notes.

Inspector Darkwah said the complainant, at that point, began to suspect foul play and alerted the police.

According to him, at the appointed date on September 18, 2008, the police arrested Andy and Razak Fulan, who had accompanied Andy.

Inspector Darkwah said further investigations led to the arrest of Mohammed Kazim, alias Banjul, at his house at New Gbawe.

He said a quantity of black pieces of paper cut to sizes of dollar notes, fake pound sterling notes, forged documents from various institutions and a copy of the instructions manual sent to the complainant were siezed from them.

Inspector Darkwah said Kazim then allegedly confessed to having supplied the instruction manual to Atta, who later gave him $3,000 as his share of the deal.