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14.11.2005 Crime & Punishment

Two staffs of Controller and AG's Dept granted bail

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Accra, Nov. 14, GNA - Two staffs of the Controller and Accountant-General's Department, who allegedly siphoned 4.3 billion cedis from State coffers appeared before a Circuit Court in Accra on Monday charged with conspiracy to steal and stealing. Nicolas Sakyi and Joseph Kofi Yeboah pleaded not guilty and the Court granted them six billion cedis bail with four sureties each to be justified.

The court further ordered the accused persons to report to the Police three times a week and fixed December 6 to commence trial. Yeboah was additionally charged with forging official documents. The case of the Prosecution was that Sakyi was attached to the Department of Urban Roads in Kumasi with Yeboah as his deputy and cashier.

The Prosecution said Sakyi was arrested following a tip-off that he was engaged in illegal transfer of monies from national coffers into two private accounts of Kingsley Owusu Ansah and Joseph Appiah, both staff of Atwima Mponua Rural Bank in Kumasi.

The Prosecutor said investigations revealed that from June 2002 to April 2004, the two accused persons uttered cheques to be paid to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as withholding taxes from contractors. The Prosecution said after the Metropolitan Engineer had signed the cheques in the name of IRS, Yeboah upon the instructions of Sakyi would utter the cheque to read I. R. Samuel and Sons Limited. After that Sakyi would keep the cheques for sometime and pay them into the accounts of "Snicks Ventures Limited" incorporated by Sakyi at the Bantama branch of the bank.

The Prosecution said after April 2004, the two accused persons stopped using I.R. Samuel and Sons Limited and commenced uttering IRS cheques to read TR Services Limited, another non-existing company. The Prosecutor said thorough investigations revealed that the two accused persons managed to steal about 4.382 billion cedis all being withholding taxes meant for IRS.

The Prosecution said Sakyi shared it with Yeboah leaving a balance of 26,000 cedis in the account.

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