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24.05.2005 Crime & Punishment

Banker steals 691 million cedis shares

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Accra, May 24, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday remanded into prison custody a staff of Merchant Bank for stealing proceeds of shares worth 691 million cedis belonging to his employers. Jonathan Larbie who is alleged to have acted with others pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and stealing.

He is to re-appear before the court on June 16.

The case as presented by Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Abicham Boye was that the complainant, Mr Albert Nunoo was the head of Internal Control Unit of Merchant Bank, Head office where Larbie also worked at the Registry, which dealt with share holding trading accounts. Following a tip-off at the Registry, Mr. Nunoo conducted investigations into database of the customers of the bank and it was discovered that some names in the banks books had been altered and substituted with six unknown names.

Prosecution said alterations were linked to the user identification details of the Larbie and he and others yet to be identified sold shares of the bank's customers totalling 723 million cedis from 2003 through May 2005.

Larbie misappropriated 691 million cedis out of 732 million cedis through brokers' sale.

The bank was able to recover only 32 million cedis from some of the brokers.

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