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11.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Former UCC student arrested for allegedly defrauding colleagues

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Cape Coast, Oct.11, GNA- A former student of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), who allegedly defrauded 15 other students of the UCC and Cape Coast polytechnic, of about 47.5 million cedis, under the pretext of sending them to Ireland, to undertake a voluntary employment programme, in 2002, was arraigned before a circuit court at Cape Coast on Monday.

Alistair Nelson, now a businessman based in Accra, was first put before court that same year and granted 45 million cedis bail, but jumped bail and was re-arrested in September this year. He has pleaded not guilty and has been granted bail in the same sum, with two sureties to be justified, to re-appear on Friday, October 15.

In his evidence before the court, one of Nelson's alleged victims, Mr Emmanuel Yaw Arthur, claimed he paid an amount of 2, 350,000.00 cedis to the accused, who charged them 1,000 US dollars each for the trip.

He alleged that the accused, "and his agents", convinced them that the monies, were for plane tickets, hotel reservations and for the payment of the organisers of the programme in Ireland, Galway Association.

According to him, they were also convinced about the certainty of the trip, and of the possibility of their gaining other temporary employment in Ireland to make some money, but the said trip, failed to come on, and Nelson and "his agents" also failed to refund their monies.

According to Mr Arthur, this aroused their suspicions and they therefore decided to conduct their own investigations, and checked the website of Galway Association, only to find that the said Association, did not charge anything for the programme.

The case was therefore reported to the police.

The facts for the prosecution is that, between January and July 2002, Nelson collected various sums of monies, both in foreign and local currencies, totaling about 47.5 million cedis, from the students, under the pretext of sending them on a trip to Ireland, for a volunteer programme.

It said all efforts by the complainants, who paid between 500 dollars and four million cedis each, to retrieve their monies, after the proposed trip failed, proved futile.

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