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09.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court convicts 26-year-old man for fraud

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Accra Feb 9, GNA - A 26-year-old man who defrauded a trader of 28 million cedis under the pretext of transporting nine containers of rice to her was on Wednesday sentenced to four years imprisonment in hard labour by a Circuit Court in Accra.

Abdulai Hamani, alias, Awudu had earlier pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and defrauding by false pretences. Hamani however changed his plea to guilty and the court convicted him accordingly. His accomplice Eric is on the run.

The facts presented by Police Chief Inspector Emmanuel T. Boison was that in November last year, the complainant, Madam Georgina Atinga met Hamani and two other persons at a Communication Centre at Madina where she had gone to make a call.

At the communication centre, Hamani engaged Madam Atinga in a conversation and introduced the two other men to her as his American partners who had imported a quantity of rice to Ghana. Prosecution said Hamani convinced Madam Atinga that the consignment was in nine containers with each loaded with 1,000 bags and promised that they could release the whole consignment to her to pay after selling them.

The prosecutor said the supposed American partners also promised to secure her an American visa to enable her visit the United States of America.

Hamani took Madam Atinga to Tema harbour and showed her the nine containers, which he claimed contained the rice. Hamani collected 28 million cedis from Madam Atinga under the pretext of providing her with an agent and drivers who were to clear and transport the rice to the Northern Region but he failed to do so.

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