A twenty-year-old final-year student of the Drobo Secondary School, who posed as the Commissioner of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and succeeded in duping two CEPS stations in the Brong Ahafo Region of ¢11.6 million has been arrested and detained by the Sunyani police.
The suspect, Owusu Agyemang, alias Hackman Richardson, was said to have imitated the voice of Major-General Richardson Edwin Baiden to defraud the Sunyani Regional CEPS office of ¢4 million and the Gonokrom CEPS station of ¢7.6 million.
The detention of Owusu Agyemang, a General Arts student, has deprived him of the chance of participating in this year's West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), which commenced yesterday. Briefing the Daily Graphic in Sunyani yesterday, Chief Superintendent of Police Christian Yohuno, the Sunyani Municipal Police Commander, said around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 8, 2006, the CEPS officials at the Sunyani Regional Office received a telephone call from the suspect who had imitated the voice of the CEPS Commissioner. Owusu Agyemang instructed the CEPS officials in Sunyani to send an amount of ¢4 million to Major-General Baiden's nephew by name Hackman Richardson who was stranded at the Berekum roundabout.
Chief Supt Yohuno stated that the suspect told the CEPS officials that they would identify Major-General Baiden's nephew by a pair of khaki trousers and a white shirt and that he was a student of the Dormaa Secondary School (DORMASS).
He said even though the CEPS officials were suspicious of the voice that was similar to that of the CEPS Commissioner, they wrapped something in a parcel and gave it to a CEPS driver to be given to the student as directed. The Municipal Police Commander stated that the CEPS officials, suspecting the incident might be a “419” scam, followed the CEPS driver with a back-up team to Berekum.
He said no sooner had the driver given the parcel to the suspect than the CEPS officials in the taxi, led by Assistant Collector L.O. Anangah of the Customs Patrol Unit, Sunyani, apprehended him and sent him to the Sunyani Municipal police station for investigations.
Chief Supt. Yohuno stated that when Owusu Agyemang was sent to DORMASS to verify if really he was a student there, the school authorities said they never knew him. But investigations revealed that he was a student of the Drobo Secondary School. He was rushed to the institution where he was identified as one of its students.
He said further investigations revealed that the suspect had used the same ploy to defraud the officials of the Gonokrom CEPS station of ¢2 million on March 29, 2006 when he directed them to send the money to the CEPS Commissioner's nephew by name Owusu Agyemang, a student of the Drobo Secondary School who was facing financial difficulties.
According to the Municipal Police Commander, the suspect called the same station again on May 2, 2006 and directed the CEPS officials to purchase a new motorbike for Major-General Baiden's nephew at the Drobo Secondary School. He said in order not to disappoint their boss, the CEPS officials bought a new motorbike at a cost of ¢5.6 million in Berekum, made part payment of ¢3.6 million and sent it to the suspect at the school.