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19.11.2008 Crime & Punishment

2 Arrested For Sale Of Fake Medicine

By Francis Asamoah-Tufuor -

A 41-year-old Dutch, Joseph Schryen, has been arrested by the police Criminal Investigations Department  (CID) for allegedly duping a number of people through the sale of fake medications purported to have been produced from the moringa plant.

Schryen and his accomplices allegedly collected huge sums of money from people under the pretext of supplying them with  medications that could cure cancer.

One of his alleged accomplices, Douglas Frimpong, has been arrested and the two are assisting in police investigations.

Briefing  the Times on Thursday, the Director General of CID, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Frank Adu Poku, said some time this year, police received reports from some people that a white man and his accomplices had run away with money they  collected from them under the pretext of supplying  them  with medications,  moringa seeds and tractor parts.

He said the description of the whiteman fitted  Schryen known for spearheading fraudulent transactions at obscure places and hotels.

Mr Adu Poku said usually, the fraudsters used  roaming phone chips whereby even  when they are in Ghana, the calls  would appear as if they were calling from abroad.

He said it became very difficult to trace them since the cell number that was used to call their clients could not be reached because they were  either switched off or out of coverage area.

Police, however,  had access to the fraudsters phone number and got someone to feign interest to transact business with them at a hotel in Dzorwulu.

He said a team led by a detective, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Ebenezer Nketia, went under cover to the hotel and in the course of the transaction, Schryn and his accomplice were arrested last Thursday.

DCOP Adu Poku said in one of the cases, Frimpong, who was being used as a frontliner approached a Forex Bureau operator and succeeded in duping him under the pretext that they needed plots of land to buy for  the construction of a permanent residence for a foreign medical officer who was due to arrive in the country.

When Schryn was asked in the presence of  the media  whether he had ever defrauded people in that respect, he admitted that about nine people had fallen victim to his activities.

He also said he had been in Ghana for 20 years, married to a Ghanaian and has a child who are staying at Akyem Asafo in the Eastern region.

Schryn who claimed he does not  work, told the police that he also work with four others who are at large but cannot trace their homes.

DCOP Adu Poku said the two are assisting the police  after which they would be put before court.