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07.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Five in court for money laundering

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Accra, Feb. 7, GNA - Four Nigerians and a Ghanaian on Monday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court for engaging in money laundering. Victor Kokoh, trader, Daniel Chukwuka Onwuah, unemployed, Daniel Idorh Osademey, trader, Augustine Kokoh, student, all Nigerians and Cudjoe Francis, a Ghanaian painter, were arrested with 70 bundles of fake US dollar bills in a house at North Alajo in Accra.

Adjumle Imam Alhassan, girlfriend of Victor Kokoh, who was also arrested, however, could not turn up in court because of she was ill. The accused persons are charged with conspiracy, possession of fake currency and possessing an implement used in printing notes that were not genuine. They pleaded not guilty.

The court remanded Victor Kokoh, Onwuah and Osademey into prison custody.

It, however, admitted Augustine Kokoh and Cudjoe Francis to 50 million cedis bail each.

They are to reappear again on February 14.

The defence counsel had told the court that Augustine Kokoh was a student who had paid a visit to his elder brother, Victor, in Ghana. Defence counsel further told the court that Francis was staying at the boys' quarters of the house and he had only rented his sister's house to the rest of the accused persons.

The case presented by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Zakaria Dudimah was that in January last year, Francis rented out his sister's house to Victor at 150 dollars a month.

DSP Dudimah said the police, acting on a tip off that the accused persons were dealing in fake currency, especially US dollars, went to search for them in their rooms on February 4, 2005.

During the search, the police found 3,000 dollars on Victor while 370 dollars was found on Augustine. The police also retrieved 4.5 million cedis and 1.9 million cedis respectively from Francis and Onwuah.

DSP Dudimah told the court the police extended their search to the kitchen in the house and a machine suspected to be used in printing fake notes was found.

A plastic bag containing about 70 bundles of fake currency hidden under a palm tree in a garden at the house was also found. When the accused persons were questioned over the machine and fake notes, they denied ownership.

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