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18.06.2004 General News

"419" Victim To Be Deported

By The Mirror
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A New Zealander, Basil Rapata Haeata, who arrived in Ghana on May 26, this year, with a forged visa, is to be deported. The forged visa was allegedly prepared by an international “419” syndicate and tricked Haeata into believing that he had been awarded a $61 million government contract.

Haeata, who claims to have paid $100,000 to his accomplices, only realised after his arrest that he had fallen victim to a “419” scam. Unknown to him, the perpetrators of the scam, Kingsley Edibire, alias John Palm aka Jeff, leader of the team, Andrew Ajiboye, Kenneth Ukah Ogadinma and Thomas Dickson Eneh, had been deported from Ghana in August last year, after their arrest in a similar “419” scam.

Briefing The Mirror in an interview in Accra, Mrs Elizabeth Adjei, Director of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), said immigration officials at the Kotoka International Airport detected that Haeata, who arrived on May 26, had come with a forged visa and was thus detained for questioning.

She said further enquiries revealed that the forged visa had been processed by the four Nigerians.

She continued that when the documents Haeata was carrying were scrutinised, it was detected that it was a scam by an international syndicate. Mrs Adjei said the documents included correspondence between various Ministers of State, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the victim on the purported transactions.

She said Haeata had a quantum of letters purportedly awarding him a contract and signed by various Ministers of State and letters emanating from the Nigerian Central Bank notifying him of the award of contract and requesting him to pay various amounts to facilitate the transfer of $61 million for the contract.

She explained that Haeata, who did not want to co-operate with investigations, started volunteering information after the anomalies in the correspondence were pointed out to him.

The director said the victim then mentioned the names of the people who were dealing with him and it was upon further investigations that it was detected that the four Nigerians had been deported a year ago for a similar offence.Mrs Adjei, therefore, warned members of the public to be on the lookout for such fraudsters.