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12.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Clerk fined for stealing gas oil

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Takoradi, Oct. 12, GNA - Frank Kofi Baffoe, a receiving clerk of petroleum products at the Ghana Manganese Company Limited at Nsuta-Wassaw near Tarkwa was on Monday fined 10 million cedis by a Takoradi circuit court for stealing 91,800 litres of gas oil valued at 167,990,000 cedis ordered by the company from Shell.

He pleaded not guilty to conspiring to steal and stealing. Baffoe would in default of the fine serve two years imprisonment in hard labour.

The court ordered him to pay for the gas oil.

Victor Kwaku Gbedze, a petrol tanker driver, who was jointly charged with him is now on the run.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector, Joe Hedidor, said on October 31, 2002, Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) ordered 32,400 litres of gas oil at the cost of 8,424 dollars from the headquarters of Shell Ghana Limited because its stock was running down.

He said when the order had not arrived after four days, the company contacted Shell to find out the reason for the delay but to its surprise, the company was told that a tanker driven by Gbedze was dispatched to deliver the consignment on November 1, 2002.

Chief Inspector Hedidor said while GMC was still waiting for the gas oil, Shell informed the company that it had received a return waybill indicating that the company had taken delivery of its order on Saturday November 2, 2002.

He said the management of GMC asked Shell to send them a copy of the return waybill and on inspection after they had received it detected Baffoe signed it.

Chief Inspector Hedidor said the company ordered the arrest of Baffoe while he and others were on official assignment at Obuasi and handed him over to the police.

He said the management of the company investigated its petroleum supplies and discovered that the 91,800 litres of gas oil ordered by the company was not delivered.

Chief Inspector Hedidor said during police investigations, Baffoe confessed the offence and disclosed that he did the act with the connivance of Gbedze.

He said the accused further disclosed that he realised an amount of 30,000,000 cedis from the sale of the product by Gbedze and had invested the money in his building under construction at Tarkwa and after further investigations, he was charged with the offence.

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