Crime & Punishment of 2013-12-07

3 Nigerians caged for ATM fraud

Three Nigerians, who allegedly placed an electronic device on an ATM machine at the Spintex Road branch of Barclays Bank and succeeded in obtaining visa card information of customers, have been put before an Accra Circuit Court to answer five fraud related charges.

The three accused persons, Tony Anderson, businessman, Kelvin Benedict Adesida, businessman and Seun Okhor, student were said to have used the information obtained to create fake ATM cards which they used to buy items from companies.

The fourth accused person, Charles Oladipupo Smith, is currently on the run.

They were on Thursday charged with five counts of conspiracy to commit crime, stealing, attempt to commit crime, unauthorised access to devices for the purpose of crime and unauthorised circumvention.

The three accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court, presided over by Francis Obiri, however remanded them into prison custody to assist the police in investigations after observing that their case was a complicated one, which the police would need adequate time to complete investigations.

The prosecutor, DSP Aidan Dery, narrating the facts of the case, disclosed that the complainants were Nana Addo Ampem Darko, a fraud analyst at Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Accra and Yasser Omar Mohammed, a retail manager at Itsalat Samsung mobile phones distributors Limited, Accra.

He narrated that in November 2013, the accused persons unlawfully placed an electronic device on the Spintex Road branch of Barclays Bank’s ATM Machine and succeeded in stealing the visa card information of the bank’s customers.

The accused persons allegedly used the customers’ information to build fraudulent visa cards for fraudulent purposes.

The prosecutor stated that on November 23, 2013, the accused persons purchased five Samsung note 3 mobile phone valued at GH¢9,500 from the Itsalat Samsung mobile phone distributors at the Accra Mall and used the fraudulent visa card to pay for the items.

On November 26, 2013, the accused persons and Charles allegedly went to the Osu branch of the same company and attempted buying 13 Samsung note 3 mobile phones value at GH¢22,425 and again used the same fake visa cards to make payment.

The manager in the shop, who suspected the deal to be fraudulent, then alerted police and the accused persons were arrested.

However, Charles managed to escape with the fake cards.

DSP Dery stated that the accused persons admitted using the fake visa cards but claimed the cards belonged to Charles.