04.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Lawyer remanded for stealing 39,000 dollars and falsifying documents

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Accra, Oct. 4, GNA - Kwaku Sam-Amoah, one of the 151 new lawyers called to the bar last week by the Chief Justice, was on Monday remanded in Usher Fort Prison custody, for allegedly falsifying documents and succeeding in stealing 39,000 Dollars, property of Blue Funnel Ghana Limited, his former employers. One Quansah, whose other names were not disclosed and said to be an accomplice to the crime is on the run. Sam-Amoah pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of forgery and stealing.

He will reappear on Friday, October 8, this year.

Briefing the Circuit Court at the "Cocoa Affairs" cluster of courts, Police Inspector S.B. Sarfo said the Blue Funnel Company is a Shipping Company where Sam-Amoah was the Release Manager, while Quansah was the Clearing Agent. According to the prosecution, Sam-Amoah was the officer responsible for ensuring that the freight was paid before the final document, called release order, was issued to the importer to enable them to clear their goods. It said Sam-Amoah somewhere along the line connived with Quansah and both of them contacted importers whose goods had arrived to pay for the freight directly to Quansah, and sometimes through Sam-Amoah for the release of their goods, which was not the normal practice.

Prosecution said Sam-Amoah then issued the release order to the importers and collected the freight charges and failed to pay them into the company's account. Audit report revealed that between 2002 and 2003, 13 companies cleared their containers and that 39,000 dollars, which should be generated was not accounted for.

During investigations, the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority indicated that Sam-Amoah ordered all the release order documents. Prosecution said all witnesses in the case, who were invited by the police investigations confirmed that hey had paid for the freights and were issued with release orders by Sam-Amoah.

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