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31 March 2009 | Crime & Punishment

Criminals invade Nkrumah circle

The Statesman

A special squad of the Ghana Police Service is expected to embark on a massive swoop at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle area soon to rid the place of criminals who have virtually taken over that central part of the capital city.

A senior police officer at the Holy Gardens Police Station at KN Circle in Accra, who wants to remain anonymous, gave the hint whilst speaking to The Statesman recently when this reporter accompanied a victim of '419' fraudsters to the station to make an official report.

"We are suffering here, everyday people come here to report of their snatched bags, mobile phones, money etc. We are going to raid the area soon but I won"t tell you when because you are a civilian,' the officer told this paper.

The police officer said these tricksters could dare anybody and disclosed that on Tuesday a military man was robbed of his mobile phone and money at KN circle.

At about 10am last Wednesday, there was a pathetic scene at KN circle when Ophelia Otoo, 23,who works at the German Development Corporation, a Non-Governmental Organisation,  broke down and wept uncontrollably after she was duped by tricksters of GH¢2000 belonging to her employers.

Narrating her sad story to this paper, Madam Ophelia said a young fair coloured man, who claimed to have come from Obuasi, approached her on Tuesday night at Darkuman, a suburb of Accra, where she lives to help him to locate one Auntie Mary in the area.

After their efforts failed to yield any fruit, another young man, who also claimed to be a first time visitor in the area, joined the duo to assist in the search.

According to her, the who first approached her suddenly turned into a soothsayer and prophesied about them, to their surprise.

There and then, the Obuasi guy told Ophelia that because of her 'magnanimity' in helping him try to locate the said Auntie Mary, he was going to dash her a piece of gold but said he has to perform some rituals by washing the gold with mercury.

"Why do you want to dash me gold just because of this small favour I have done for you?,' Ophelia asked.

Sensing that the lady was beginning to doubt him, the 419 guy showed some notes of pound sterling to Ophelia and 'actually begged me to accept the offer.'

The trio agreed to meet the following day [Wednesday] where the Obuasi guy was expected to give out the gold gift to Ophelia, after she had promised to bring some amount of money to perform some rituals before she would receive the precious mineral.

She was warned not to disclose her good fortune to anyone.

On the appointed Wednesday, the three met at KN circle, where Ophelia handed her bag containing GH¢2000, mobile phone and books to the two conmen, after she had been told to go for more money from a relative who works at the Bank of Ghana.

On her return, she could not trace the two young men, who had apparently connived to dupe her.

A policeman at Neoplan Police Station, who only gave his name as Vincent confirmed the story but referred the case to the Holy Gardens Police Station.

The officers, who appeared angry about the naïve behaviour of Ophelia, confirmed that such criminal activities were reported almost every day at the station.

One officer remarked, 'You are a fool, these tricksters in Circle don"t work and you allowed them to dupe you in spite of occasional media reports on their activities.'

Ophelia, who could not believe what happened to her, told this paper, 'I accept the blame for my stupidity, at a point I was not sure what I was doing and what was going on, but it appears something was pushing me to accept whatever I was being told.' 

Asked what she intends to do, Ophelia said her job was at stake and explained that her boss, who is a German, might terminate her services due to her 'foolish behaviour.' 

To this end, she has vowed to borrow money to pay back the company's money without informing management.

Another problem of Ophelia is how to successfully write her impending examinations as her books were also taken away by these fraudsters.

quot-img-1Anytime I get ANGRY about certain things it stops my FEELING from being HAPPY

By: akoaso-HH quot-img-1