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05.06.2005 Business & Finance

Thousands To Lose Millions In Kumasi

More than a thousand people in Kumasi and its environs risk losing huge deposits whose total is believed to be in the region of about ¢1 billion, lodged with the Sky Eagle Financial Services, a non-bank financial institution with doubtful credentials, which operate in Kumasi.
The financial manager of the company, Mr Samuel Afful, has been arrested by the police.
Since then scores of people some with deposits of about ¢30 million and above have been trooping to the Kumasi Central Police Station to ascertain the arrest of Afful and the fate of their monies deposited with the company.
Customers, for some time now, have not been able to effect withdrawals, following the near bankruptcy of the company.
Police said Afful had been charged with fraud before a Kumasi Circuit Court.
Afful had been running the company single-handedly at the company's offices at Ahodwo in Kumasi, since operations started more than a year ago.
However, on his arrest, he claimed the company had a director at Takoradi whose name he only gave as Ernest.
The police said they were trying to locate the said Ernest to assist in investigations.
Afful had already appeared before the Kumasi Circuit Court charged with fraud, to which he had pleaded not guilty.
The court presided over by Mr Ernest Y. Obimpeh, granted bail to Afful in the sum of ¢300 million with a surety to be justified.
However, as of yesterday, the suspect had not been able to get the surety and was being remanded in police cells.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kwaku Duah, Kumasi Central Police Divisional Crime Officer, told the Graphic that although Afful claimed the company had other directors, he had failed to mention the names of the directors.
He said police would soon establish that Afful was the sole owner of the company.
ASP Duah said agents of the company reported Afful to the police, when they detected that he was not depositing the moneys they brought from customers at the bank.
The Divisional Crime Officer said initially the company was paying huge interests on deposits and that attracted many people to move in to do business with the company.
He said Afful told the police that the company was not bankrupt, but that it had rather advanced huge monies to non-customers and customers alike as loans, which were yet to be repaid.