Crime & Punishment of 2013-12-06

Man before court for defrauding 21 people

A 43-year-old man, De-Graft Okyere Danso, has appeared before the Takoradi Circuit Court for allegedly defrauding 21 people of GH¢150,000.

Danso was said to have collected the money from the people under the pretext of securing them American visas.

He was charged with defrauding by false pretence.

At the court’s sitting last Wednesday, Danso told it that he would sell his house in the Ashanti Region and use the proceeds to pay the GH¢150,000.

However, he was not able to provide documents on the ownership of the building to the court.

The case was then adjourned to December 9, 2013 after the accused had requested to seek medical attention for a sore throat.

Though he had been granted bail by the court, Danso could not provide the two sureties required to grant him bail.

Prosecution’s case

Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mr Richard Boatey said the accused person had visited King of Kings International Miracles Church in May 2011, during which he told the then pastor, Mr Eric Mensah, that he was into recruiting people to work in Virginia in the United States.

Mr Boatey said Danso told the pastor that it would cost each person GH¢6,000 to acquire the visa and Pastor Mensah announced same to the congregation.

He said 21 people who expressed interest in the offer made initial payments, and after that Danso curtailed all communication between him and them.

The prosecutor said in January this year, a man named Bernard Kwabena Ameyaw informed Pastor Mensah that Danso had asked him to conclude the travelling arrangements.

He said Mr Ameyaw promised the 21 people that they would be airlifted to Virginia by the end of June this year, upon which he requested them to further pay a total of GH¢10,000.

The accused allegedly acknowledged receipt of all the money that was paid to him through the bank and to prove that he was working on the travelling arrangements, he sent a photocopy of a new passport for one of the people to that person.

That passport, the prosecutor said, was later found to be fake, adding that Danso was later arrested in Accra and sent to Takoradi.