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13.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court grants trader 150 million cedis bail for fraud

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Takoradi, Oct. 13, GNA - A Takoradi Circuit Court on Thursday granted Elizabeth Agyapong, a 30 year old trader 150 million cedis bail with a surety to be justified for allegedly defrauding three business women at Takoradi.

She pleaded not guilty and would re-appear on October 20. Prosecuting, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Isaac Nyarko, told the court presided over by Mr. George E. Koomson that on September 7 this year, Elizabeth telephoned the first complainant, Gloria Cleyland and later went to her business premises at Takoradi to purchase dresses, materials and other items for a wedding ceremony at Tamale.

ASP Nyarko said while the two women were negotiating on the cost of the items and terms of payment, complainant received a telephone call from someone at Tamale who alleged was the mother of the accused. The prosecutor said the second caller assured the complainant that money for the goods would be paid into her bank account the following day. ASP Nyarko said b ased on this assurance, the accused collected 16 pieces of lace materials, nine assorted camera mobile phones, 11 sets of earrings, four suit cases, 20 pairs of bracelets, an up-and-down jeans and suit, five pieces of Ashorke materials, two children's dresses, two track suits, two dinner bags, three slippers and a shoe, all valued at 95.4 million cedis.

The prosecutor said the accused left behind a lady's handbag which she (accused) alleged contained two bars of gold but when the complainant opened it later, it was found to contain a neatly wrapped sandcrete block and granite stone.

ASP Nyarko said the complainant became suspicious and telephoned the alleged mother of the accused but a man who also claimed to be a brother of the accused responded and pledged to settle the debt but they failed to honour their promise.

He said the matter was reported to the police and during investigations Mrs Matilda Hanson and Mrs Mirth Nutsugah, both businesswomen, reported to the Central Police Station that in July and November last year, the accused used similar tricks and collected several items from them and fled.

The prosecutor said Mrs Hanson lost four half pieces of cloths, four men's shoes and one travelling bag all totalling 2.2 million cedis. ASP Nyarko said Mrs Nutsugah also lost two pieces of lace materials, two neck chains, two rings and a pair of ladies' shoe with a total value of about two million cedis and has since not traced the accused. The prosecutor said the accused was however, arrested at her hideout on August 19 this year upon a tip-off. He said only 46 million cedis worth of the items had been retrieved.