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10.02.2009 Crime & Punishment

GH¢48,000 fraud uncovered at CMC… Four to appear before court today

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A Sekondi Magistrate Court has discharged four staff of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), who attempted to defraud the company of a whooping amount of GH¢48,000.

They four would however be arraigned before the Takoradi Circuit Court today, for fresh prosecution of the case. That means the prosecution would adduce fresh evidence. Workers of the company had earlier expressed concern over the decision to prosecute the accused persons at the magistrate court.

The Presiding Judge, Mr. Kwame Polly, granted order for the transfer of the case, after the prosecutor in the case, ASP Albert Daletse, had put in a request to that effect.

The four are Stephen Eshun, Security Guard (Takoradi CMC), George Aduhene, Joseph Egyin, Stenographer Secretary (Takoradi CMC), Mr. Jantuah George Brefo and Monica Afari, who were also involved in the deal are not staff of CMC. They had pleaded not guilty, and were granted bail by the court.

The accused persons had already been dismissed from the company, based on recommendations made by an ad hoc committee set up by the management of the company to investigate the deal, which involves 600 bags of cocoa.

Information reaching this reporter indicates that another 34 bags of cocoa had vanished from the Takoradi Depot of the CMC. This theft occurred last week.

The four, who have been implicated in the first case, had attempted to offload 600 bags of cocoa beans at the local depot of the company located at Apowa, under the pretext that the consignment had been registered, but they were not lucky, as the security personnel detected their plans, and arrested them.

The ad hoc committee report, sighted by The Chronicle, and signed by the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Anthony Adams, recounted that there was a meeting between Mr. Jantuah, one Ms. Monica Afari and George Berefo on the 23rd of January this year, at which a plan was hatched to defraud the CMC.

In the course of the meeting, a waybill was allegedly written by Mr. Jantuah and Ms. Monica Afari, tasking one Isaac Ansah, the Schedule Officer, to sign the waybill and present it (waybill) for registration at the CMC security point at Apowa, to offload the consignment.

According to the report, the Schedule Officer, by presenting the waybill, unknowingly fell into the trap of the group, by negligently accepting the waybill and registering it without seeking the truck and the consignment to be offloaded.

Coincidentally, one of the culprits, George Brefo, had been assigned to the CMC security Check Point at Apowa, where the consignment had been scheduled to be offloaded.

Consequently, he (George Brefo) solicited the assistance of John Aduhene and Egyin to procure the necessary documentation and approval, to off load the 600 bags of cocoa from the Apowa depot of the CMC.

This was after Mr. Egyin had given the flying waybill to Aduhene, from which a tally card had also been prepared.

During the offloading, according to the report, Aduhene had gone to confer with Egyin, as to whether the plot would be carried out without any hitch.

Here, Egyin assured the latter that everything was on course. Aduhene then got into action, and cunningly tricked the QCD officials on duty, with the active collaboration of George Brefo.

The report continued that after the plot was successfully carried out, Ms. Monica Afari, who was part of the plan, allegedly called Aduhene, and promised to give him some money later for his role.

The consignment then found it way to New Edubiase, to the depot of Mr. Jantuah, to be loaded under the instruction of Ms. Afari.

But Jantuah failed to show up on the day the consignment got to his depot. The Depot Officer, one Oteng Gyasi, who was suspicious of the consignment, questioned Aduhene and Brefo (culprits), after which the two vanished.

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