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Crime & Punishment Fri, 22 Nov 2019

Spiritualist remanded over fraud

A 26-year-old spiritualist who allegedly defrauded a trader of GHC93,000.00 under the pretence of providing him with a special Schnapp bottle with great monetary value but bolted afterwards has been arraigned.

Michael Bedzra charged with defrauding by false pretences has pleaded not guilty.

The court presided over by Mrs Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye has turned down Bedzra' s bail application and remanded him into lawful custody to reappear on December 4.

Mr Maxwell Kpodo prayed the court to admit Bedzra to bail since he has a fixed place of abode and has people of substance to stand as sureties.

Mr Kpodo said his client who has spent about nine days in police cells, was not a flight risk.

Defence counsel said the matter before the court was a spiritual matter and not fraud, adding that the prosecution had not told them the monetary value.

According to defence counsel the charge did not also support the facts of the matter.

Chief Inspector Emmanuel Haligah said the accused person was a Togolese hence was a flight risk.

Chief Inspector Haligah told the court accused person did not have a fixed place of abode and could not tell the Police his house number.

The court therefore turned down Bedzra's bail application.

Narrating the facts, Chief Inspector Haligah said the complainant Kwame Yeboah is a trader and the accused reside at Bososu in the Eastern Region.

Prosecution said Bedzra is the brother- in-law of the late suspect Kweku Atta who is a friend to the complainant.

In March last year, Mr Yeboah attended the funeral of the late Kweku Atta's Father at Bososu. At the funeral, the complainant was introduced to the accused person as the one whom his father had bequeathed his shrine to.

Prosecution said Bedzra told the complainant that his late father in law left a special Schnapp bottle which had great monetary value but he needed to conduct spiritual cleansing.

Prosecution said the accused further explained to the complainant that the family wanted to sell the special Schnapp bottle to him if the complainant would give him money to perform the rituals.

The prosecutor said Bedzra succeeded in collecting various monies totalling GHC93,000.00 and went into hiding.

Efforts to trace Bedzra had proved futile hence a report was made to the Police at Mamprobi.

On November 10, this year Bedzra was traced to Nkruakan in the Eastern Region. Bedzra admitted collecting the money for spiritual cleansing.

Bedzra said one person had to die in the family before the said bottle could be released to him but nobody was prepared to die.

Source: Ghananewsagency.org
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