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General News Wed, 31 Jan 2001

Three Liberians remanded for attempted fraud

Three unemployed Liberians who attempted to defraud two German nationals by selling stones as gold and diamond were arraigned at an Accra Circuit Tribunal on Monday.

Mohammed Selah, Dennis Bill and Dickson Tolbert, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, attempt to commit crime and being prohibited immigrants. The tribunal, chaired by Mr Ziblim Imoru, remanded them in prison custody until February 5.

The tribunal heard that on December 31 last year, the accused persons planned to defraud the Germans, Wolfgang Otto Liniger and Ronald Eugene Kaupp, by selling stones as gold and diamond to them. The prosecutor, Inspector Emmanuel T. Boison said the accused persons agreed to meet Liniger and Kaupp at a coffee shop at Labone with the "gold and diamond." They wrapped a cement block in a jute sack and concealed it in an old portmanteau, which they picked from a dunghill.

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The prosecution said the accused persons boarded a taxi with the "gold and diamond" to the coffee shop. Inspector Boison said luck ran out for the accused persons as they could not pay 52,000 cedis charged by the taxi-driver. This degenerated into a scuffle and a private security man advised the driver to report the matter to the police while he guarded them.

The prosecution said the accused persons were arrested and when interrogated, they said they wanted to collect some money from Liniger and Kaupp to pay the taxi river. When the portmanteau was searched, the cement block wrapped in a jute sack and cardboard was found, the prosecutor said.

The accused persons explained that the Germans requested to see the "gold and diamond" before paying them. They therefore decided to conceal the stone in the portmanteau to deceive the Germans to collect the money. The prosecutor said the accused persons were illegal immigrants who had no valid travelling document and had no means of support.

Source: GNA
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