Crime & Punishment of Thu, 30 Jun 20163
Woman before court for fraud, impersonation
A 28-year-old unemployed woman, Mabel Osei Bonsu, aka Andreas Smith, has appeared before the Takoradi Magistrate’s Court in the Western Region for posing as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) California, in the United States of America (USA).
The accused, who hails from Pankrono, near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, was also alleged to have defrauded a businessman in Takoradi of several thousands of Ghana Cedis and had been charged with impersonation and defrauding by false pretence.
However, the court presided over by Ms Christiana Eyia Donkor, granted her bail in the sum of GHC8,200 with two sureties, but she could not fulfil the conditions of the bail and still remained in the custody of the Takoradi police.
The facts of the case were that about two years ago, the accused met a China-based nephew of the complainant on the Tango social media platform, where both had been chatting with friends.
The Takoradi District Commander of Police, Superintendent Peter Ofori Donkor, indicated that she later expressed interest in getting married to the nephew, as they continued dating on the same platform.
He said in January this year, the accused informed her would-be husband about her intention to meet his family in Ghana, which she did on June 16, 2016.
The police said in the course of the introduction, Mabel indicated that she was an agent of the FBI based in California.
Supt Donkor continued that on June 17, 2016, the accused requested the complainant and some family members to take her to town to withdraw some money and when they got to Stanbic Bank, she got down and went straight to the Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
A few minutes later, according to the police, she came back to inform the complainant that her Visa card needed to be tropicalized before she could withdraw money from her foreign account, saying that could take some few days to be accomplished by her bankers in the USA.
Mr Donkor alleged that the accused then requested the bank account of the complainant to enable her to transfer $300, 000 into it for the purpose of paying the customs duties of a fleet of vehicles she had imported.
Supt Donkor indicated that the businessman then became alarmed and suspicious and, therefore, reported the matter to the police, who arrested Mabel and after investigations, she was charged with the offence.