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22.02.2006 Crime & Punishment

Fraud cases in Ashanti reduce - Police

By GNA

Kumasi, Feb. 22, GNA - Records of fraud cases in the Ashanti Region dropped from 3,031 in 2003 to 2,097 cases in 2005, according to statistics from the Regional Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

In spite of the drop in fraud cases, the Ashanti Regional Police Administration has warned people who want to travel overseas to be wary of fraudsters and visa contractors who would take advantage of their anxiety to travel to dupe them.

A public education release from the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Unit signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jordan Quaye, asked potential overseas travellers to use the embassies and High Commissions instead of "connection men and women". Giving tit-bits on the mode of operations of the fraudsters, the release said they dressed as persons returning from trips overseas, wearing large trousers, long foreign shoes and bowler summer shirts and a lot of jewellery.

In some cases, they bleach while some speak intermittently foreign language mixed with a local language.

It said some also showed proof of passports stamped with foreign and local immigration stamps at airports and had fake visa stamps to convince their victims.

The release said these fraudsters meet their victims at restaurants, hotels, drinking spots and in borrowed cars and usually asked some people to receive money from potential victims in order to elude them, thereby using those who collect the money for them as scapegoats should they be reported to the police.

It said these fraudsters always refused liability since they formed syndicates in Accra, Kumasi and wherever victims were found and resorted to the use of mobile phones a lot.

The release said they employed the services of some printing houses to forge or replicate travel documents and warned all printing houses or agents involved in the printing of travel documents to realize it was a criminal offence.

It appealed to printing houses to arrest or report anyone who attempted to replicate passports, visas or forge any travel documents invitation letters or forging statements of accounts to the police.

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