Crime & Punishment of 2014-06-12

Police grab fugitive at hideout

One of the two accused persons who bolted during a court trial has been arrested.

Paul Amankwah Osei Tutu, aka Wilberforce Nimako, 27, was on trial with two others; Seth Dzamesi, an ex-policeman, and Jeffery Kofi Boakye at the Accra Fast Track High Court for defrauding a businessman of $700,000.

However, on May 20, 2014, Tutu and Boakye, who were on bail and were, therefore, attending the court hearings from their homes, bolted from the court premises before the judge slapped them with a 15-year prison sentence.

Arrested from hideout

Even though Tutu and Boakye had earlier answered to their names when the case was called, they disappeared before the delivery of the judgement.

The judge sentenced them to 15 years in absentia while their accomplice, an ex-police officer, was also sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

The court, presided over by Justice U. P. Dery, issued a bench warrant for their arrest.

After hunting for the absconded convicted persons, the Accra Central Police Command managed to arrest Tutu on Sunday, June 8, 2014, from his hideout at Dome in Accra.

Background

The Accra Fast Track High Court heard that the three men conspired with two others to defraud a businessman who is a representative of Tijani Resource Company Limited, Kofi Dankwah Asante Antwi, under the pretext of securing 75 kilogrammes of gold for him.

On October 11, 2012 and, on the Spintex Road, the men convinced Mr Antwi that they could secure and ship 75 kgs of gold for him at the cost of $700,000.

After handing over the gold to a courier service, the men went back for the consignment but pretended that they had shipped the gold. The complainant, on realising that he had been defrauded, reported the matter to the police and they were arrested in October 2013.

The three men were found guilty of the charge of conspiracy to commit crime and defrauding by false pretences.

A bench warrant was issued by the court for the arrest of two other accomplices, Mike Doe and Evans Akafia, who failed to appear before the court.