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19.03.2004 General News

Takoradi police smash phonecards stealing syndicate

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Takoradi, March 19, GNA- A member of phone cards stealing syndicate operating in Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, Sakah Allotey, unemployed was on Thursday sentenced to 24 months' imprisonment in hard labour by a Takoradi circuit court.

Allotey pleaded guilty to stealing 20 phone cards valued at one point three million cedis.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Patience Nicol told the court, that for some time now some young men have formed themselves into phone cards stealing syndicate operating in Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis. She alleged that sometime in January this year, Allotey went to the complainant, Mr. Emmanuel Akainyah, who was in his phone kiosk at Takoradi market circle and told him that the Priest in charge of the Trinity Presbyterian Church at Takoradi wanted 20 pieces of phone cards to buy.

He said Allotey left the kiosk and in no time, he rang the complainant that the priest said he should come along to the mission house with 20 phone cards.

Chief Inspector Nicol said Mr. Akainyah went to the mission house with the 20 phone cards where he saw Allotey waiting for him at the entrance of the mission house.

She said Allotey sent the complainant inside the hall of the mission house and gave him a seat. Allotey then collected the 20 phone cards from Mr. Akainyah and entered a room, presumably to give the cards to the priest and collect the money.

Chief Inspector Nicol said Allotey came out of the room with an empty mineral bottle and told the complainant that the priest has sent him (accused) to buy him some soft drink and that he would be back soon to collect the money from the priest.

The prosecutor said after some time when the accused was not coming back, Akainyah went to the priest to demand the money for the phone cards but to his surprise, the priest denied ever sending Allotey to go and buy phone cards or soft drink.

She said similar incidents have been happening at some other phone kiosks in the twin-city and information was sent to all phone kiosk dealers to be on the alert.

Chief Inspector Nicol said on March 11 this year, Allotey went to another phone cards seller and told him that a Reverend Father of the Star of the Sea Catholic Cathedral wanted some phone cards to buy. This time, luck evaded Allotey as the phone cards seller alerted the police and Allotey was arrested.

Mr. Akainyah later identified Allotey as the one who used the name of the priest of the Trinity Presbyterian Church and collected the 20 phone cards.

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