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5 In dock over GH¢11.4m scam

BY: Elizabeth Konadu-Boakye
5 In dock over GH¢11.4m scam
5 In dock over GH¢11.4m scam

Five persons have appeared before an Accra Circuit court for allegedly defrauding a mining engineer of more than GH¢11.4 million.

The accused persons, Natasha Dziedzorm Wilson, Lucas Kofi Dorgbetor Bedzera, Josephine Korkor Mensah Affranie, Henrietta Baako and Patience Naomi, pleaded not guilty to 144 counts of defrauding by false pretence, conspiracy to commit crime and abetment when they appeared before the court presided over by Evelyn Asamoah.

They have, however, been granted bail to the tune of GH¢3 million with six sureties to be justified with landed property.

They are to reappear on October 24 this year.

Facts

The facts of the case as presented in court by the prosecutor, Inspector Isaac Babaayi, were that in the year 2012, Lucas Bedzera who is a building contractor, struck acquaintance with the complainant who used to supply him with building blocks.


He stated that Lucas made the complainant believe that he imported Tipper Trucks from Belgium which made the complainant show interest in buying tipper trucks from him.

"The complainant reported the matter to the police ostensibly to recover his money from Lucas. Lucas paid part of the money to the complainant and promised to pay the rest," he said.

In his effort to retrieve the rest of the money, Inspector Babaayi said, the complainant kept calling him on phone to demand the money.

“On one of such occasions, the complainant called Lucas who at the material time was with Natasha. Lucas gave the phone to Natasha and she made a false representation that Lucas was her niece and that she was the financial engineer in the importation of the tipper trucks,” he said.

Surgery

Inspector Babaayi further revealed that in 2016, the complainant travelled to Australia where he still tried to reach Natasha and Lucas.

Lucas, he said, gave the complainant’s number to Natasha who later called the complainant to inform him that she was unable to clear the cars at the ports because she underwent surgery after she was diagnosed for kidney stone and spent all the money on medical bills.

“She added that she was still detained at the hospital because she needed to pay for a balance of GH¢3,400.00. The complainant sent her the said balance of GH¢3,400.00 so Natasha would be discharged from the hospital,” the prosecutor said.

Detergent

Natasha, Inspector Babaayi said, later made a certain woman who introduced herself as Sandra Tetteh and a mother of Natasha speak to the complainant to express her gratitude to her for paying part of her daughter's hospital bills.

He further explained that Natasha and Lucas later informed the complainant that Natasha had won a contract to supply some major hotels in Accra with detergents valued at GH¢5,000,000.00

“Natasha told the complainant that the hotels included Airport View Hotel, Kempinski Hotel, Golden Tulip Hotel and Movenpick Hotel. She then persuaded the complainant to partner her in the business so they could share the profit. Complainant who became interested in the non-existing contract parted with various amounts of money to the accused persons,” he said.

Momo Transactions

The Inspector went on to say investigations revealed that between 2016 and 2020 Natasha, Lucas and Josephine demanded and collected cash in the sum of GH¢3,368,791.00 from the complainant.

Inspector Babaayi added that Natasha again used an MTN number 0548821621 registered in the name of Emmanuel Galley to receive cash amounting to GH¢159,318.00.

She also used MTN number 0241016102 registered with the name Vida Kyei to receive GH¢8,219.00 from the complainant and again used MTN number 0548634884 registered in the name of Comfort Kpetse to receive the sum of GH¢ 4,707.00 from the complainant.

“After investigations it became apparent that Natasha did not have a contract with any hotel in Accra to supply detergents. Investigations extended to all the hotels mentioned by Natasha revealed that all the representations she made to the complainant about the contract with the hotels was a hoax,” he said.

“Natasha was never diagnosed with kidney stone, and no surgery was conducted on her for kidiney stone. Such representations were only aimed at winning the confidence of complainant to enable her to defraud him,” he added.

They admitted in their caution statements to have benefited from the proceeds of the crime where Natasha admitted to using part of the money she received from the complainant to build a three-bed room self-contained house at Sapeiman in Accra.