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05.11.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court convicts two members of a syndicate

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Kumasi, Nov 5, GNA - Police in Kumasi have arrested two members of a syndicate believed to have defrauded traders in the metropolis of several millions of cedis under the pretext of doubling their monies for them. Johnson Amissah, a self-styled pastor and Oppong Nyantakyi, trader, who were arraigned before a Kumasi circuit court on Friday, were convicted but the court deferred sentence to allow their victims to identify them. They both pleaded guilty to defrauding under false pretence and will re-appear on November 23.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Regina Addo-Yobo told the court, presided over by Mr Ernest Yao Obimpeh that since December last year, the police had been in inundated with several cases of fraud in which the syndicate promised to double the monies of their victims. She said the mode of operation of the syndicate was that Amissah, who styled himself as a pastor and spiritualist, approached their victims and told them that he could double their monies for them. The prosecution said he would then order them to pay the money to Nyantakyi and two others now at large, who under the guise of sprinkling some concoctions on the money will then bolt with the money.

ASP Addo-Yobo told the court that the syndicate in the middle of last month approached one Lydia Asare at Kyirapatre near Kumasi and under the guise of doubling her money for her demanded cash of 1.5 million cedis, a mobile phone and four pieces of cloth, all valued at about five million cedis. She said, no sooner had the complainant had given the cash and items to the syndicate than they mysteriously vanished from the scene. ASP Addo-Yobo said luck, however, run out for the convicts as they were arrested from their hideout on Wednesday and after interrogations were charged with the offence. Meanwhile, the police have mounted an intensive search for the other two members of the syndicate.