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15.11.2008 General News

Dutchman grabbed for 419 scam

By Daily Guide
Dutchman grabbed for 419 scam

A 41-year old Dutch national, Joseph Maria Schryen, is being held at the National Police Head Quarters for Advance Fee Fraud (419).

Joseph Schryen, who was arrested together with a Ghanaian accomplice, Douglas Frimpong, 35, confessed to committing the crime during an interrogation saying he has since last year involved himself in about nine successful fraud cases.

Briefing journalists on Thursday in Accra, the director general of the Criminal Investigation Department, DCOP Frank Adu Poku, noted that the arrest of the man was a great relief for him since a Whiteman has been linked to almost all the fraud cases which have been reported to his office.

He emphasised however that he was not linking all the 419 cases to Schryen but suspects he would be involved in most of the cases.

The Dutch man has been living in Ghana for the past 20 years and is married to a Ghanaian.

He lives in Akim Asafo in the Eastern Region, where his wife operates a shop but occasionally comes to Accra to meet clients and bolts away with his booty to Asafo.

Narrating the incident that led to the arrest of the two suspects, the CID boss said the suspects approached a forex bureau operator in Accra via telephone and presented Mr. Schryen as a London based medical officer, with the intention of acquiring ten plots of land for the construction of a private hospital.

Later in their subsequent conversations, suspect Schryen, who told complainant that he had just arrived from London discarded the idea of purchasing the land and rather wanted to sell gingo seeds to his potential victim claiming the seeds were potent in curing cancer.

The complainant feigned interest and bought a sample of the said seed at the cost of $350.

It was scheduled that the real consignment would be brought to Fiesta Royal Hotel in Dzorwulu at the cost of $3000.

The complainant reported to the police and the suspect and his accomplice were arrested on the appointed day.

The CID boss narrated an incident which was again reported by someone he described as a person of high repute but was duped of GH¢190,000.00.

He said though anybody could fall victim to this scandal it is usually the greedy ones that end up being the hardest hit.

He appealed to the public be conscious of the fact that most roaming and private number users tend to convince people that they were foreign investors.

These fake investors or businessmen succeed in luring some members of the public into dubious transactions and eventually rob them of their hard earned money.

He appealed to persons who might have been victims of the suspects' activities to come to the police head quarters to identify them.

Items labeled as gingo seeds, vagina powder, wacaga seeds among others were retrieved from the scene and has been kept as exhibits.

When the issue of the influx of Nigerian fraudsters was raised the CID boss said the problem was beyond them as some of them are able to acquire Ghanaian passports and parade themselves as nationals. He wondered how in the first place they are able to enter the country with fake documents.

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