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12.11.2014 General News

Amoateng Passport Owner Pops Up

By Daily Guide
Amoateng Passport Owner Pops Up
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Eric Amoateng
BARBARA INKUM, supposed owner of the passport said to have been used by Eric Amoateng, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, to travel to Ghana from the United States, yesterday appeared in court.

Mr. Amoateng is on trial for alleged fraudulent acquisition of passport.

Barbara, a 25-year-old lady, told an Accra circuit judge, Mrs. Ellen Vivian Amoah, that she had never seen the passport that was supposed to be hers because after giving her particulars to a man called Frank to process the document for her, she never saw him again.

In her examination in-chief, led by DSP Aidan Dery, Barbara said between 2008 and 2009 she wanted to acquire a passport and so her elder sister advised that she should get in touch with one cousin of theirs working with the Immigration Service .

According to her, she was informed that her cousin was at the Aflao Border so a gentleman called Kwaku Obeng introduced someone called Frank to her and her sister to assist them with the processes for the passport acquisition.

The witness said she was asked to give all her particulars to Frank, including her birth certificate, together with GH¢150. When the prosecuting officer gave her a passport form with a passport-size photograph to have a look at, she identified the photograph on it as hers.

In addition, she mentioned the number on the passport as H237080. She explained that after she had given the forms and paid the money, she waited for a response from Frank but had since not set eyes on him; and had lost his contact number as well.

Under cross-examination by Charles Puozing, counsel for Amoateng, the witness said she did not know who wrote the passport number, neither did she even get to see the passport with the number. She has been discharged by the court.

The case has been adjourned to November 13, 2014.
Ibrahim Issaka Lan-Gani, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), is the first witness in the case; and has testified that before the introduction of biometric passport, a person needed not be present to have the passport done for him.

He also stated that he wouldn't know if the former MP could tell whether or not the passport was faked.

He said it could be the case that the accused person expressed surprise when he was informed that the passport was fake because he did not know it was.

Amoateng, a teacher and farmer, had spent over seven years in the United States of America (USA) prison where he was jailed in connection with narcotic-related offences.

BY Fidelia Achama

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