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Crime & Punishment Wed, 22 Jun 2005

Over 500 million cedis stolen at Nkawkaw Holy Family Hospital

Mpraeso, (E/R) June 22, GNA - Eight members of staff of the accounts and pharmacy sections of the Nkawkaw Holy Family have appeared before a Circuit Court at Mpraeso presided over by Mr Kwabena Asuman-Adu, for stealing over 500 million cedis through the manipulation of the hospital's computer soft-ware. They all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail in various sums totalling 680 million cedis to re-appear before the court on July 15, for trial.

The accused are Joseph Kwarteng Amaning, an accounts officer, who allegedly stole 127,504,700 cedis, Ernestina Ofori also an accounts officer took away 110,655,030, Diana Asaa, an accounts clerk, 95,204,250 and Faustina Asantewaa, an accounts officer, 79,383,180 cedis. The rest are Dickson Darko-Beloved, an accounts officer allegedly stole 10,259,500, Joseph Adjei Frempong (alias Ofosu), a Dispensary Assistant, 87,800 cedis, Percy Asamoah an Accountant, 4,016,260 and Evans Osae Djan, an Orderly, who took away 700,000 cedis.

A ninth suspect, Dickson Benneh, who is on the run, stole 34 folders of some in-patients, collected their bills and issued them with fake receipts and pocketed the money causing a loss of 46,486,000 cedis to the hospital.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Alex Gyamera Acheampong, told the court that in March 2002, the hospital computerized the billing system of in-patients at the hospital with the installation of a number of soft-ware computers at various departments of the hospital. He said On October 30, 2004, a fault on the soft-ware was reported to the Chief Accountant of the hospital and while experts were working on the fault, a receipt bearing the date of October 10, 2000 kept on appearing on the computers.

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The prosecutor said a further probe revealed that receipts issued in the year 2000 and 2001 also kept on appearing on the computers so the hospital authorities became suspicious since the computerization system started in March 2002. He said the hospital authorities, therefore, set up a committee comprising an auditor and a computer system analyst to investigate the anomalies whose finding showed that the accused had manipulated the system's dates to avoid detection of thefts and succeeded in stealing various sums of money totalling 444,394,480 cedis,

Chief Inspector Acheampong said further investigations also detected the loss of 34 in-patients folders and some receipt books which was later detected to have been stolen by Benneh, which cost a loss of 46,486,000 to the hospital.

In another development, it was revealed that in-patients receipt books with serial number 78001 - 79000 containing 20 booklets had been stolen by Asentewaa which she issued to patients and pocketed the funds worth millions of cedis accruing from it. The prosecutor said the Medical Superintendent In-charge of the hospital, Dr Kwesi Amuzu, interdicted all the eight personnel and later made a report to the Nkawkaw Divisional Police for their arrest and prosecution.

Source: GNA
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