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Crime & Punishment Fri, 14 Oct 2016

Man, 62, arrested for alleged fraud on OLX platform

A?62-year-old man, who is believed to be the leader of a syndicate that uses an online trading platform, OLX, to defraud prospective car buyers, has been nabbed.

The suspect, Benjamin Amissah, a refrigeration and air-condition technician who responds to many aliases, including Uncle Ben and Bennito, was arrested by officials of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service after he had allegedly defrauded a businessman of GH¢ 38,000.

Vehicle for sale

Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Director General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Prosper K. Agblor, said Amissah had taken advantage of the free online marketplace to advertise a picture of a vehicle for sale.

In the case which led to Amissah’s arrest, he said Amissah had advertised an unregistered Toyota Rav 4 vehicle on OLX for sale.

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Investigations, he said, revealed that the vehicle was for a car dealer who had displayed a “for sale” sign on the car at Abeka, near Lapaz, in Accra and that Amissah had taken a picture of the vehicle and used it for his dubious activity without the knowledge of the owner of the car.

Mr Agblor said a prospective buyer saw the picture of the car on OLX, with Amissah’s contact details, and called him to express interest.

The two, he said, negotiated and agreed on GH¢?38,000 and scheduled to meet and inspect the vehicle.

He said on the agreed day, Amissah was said to have directed one of his accomplices, who was identified only as Asamoah, to take the interested car buyer, who was accompanied by his mechanic, to Abeka to inspect the vehicle.

According to him, Amissah, before the inspection of the car, had called the original owner of the vehicle and told him that an uncle of his was interested in the vehicle and that he (Amissah) would come along with him to inspect and test drive the vehicle before making payment.

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Arrest

As a result of the earlier conversation, Mr Agblor said the owner of the vehicle allowed Amissah’s accomplice and the victim and his mechanic to test drive the car, after which they returned it.

The victim, who expressed satisfaction after the inspection and test drive, was later taken to a fuel station at Awoshie Junction to meet Amissah, where he paid the GH¢?38,000 to Amissah.

After collecting the money, Amissah is said to have accompanied the victim to Abeka where the car was parked, but while they were walking towards the car, Amissah jumped on a waiting motorbike and bolted.

The victim, who later found out that he had been swindled, reported the incident to the police, following which Amissah was arrested in the course of investigations.

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