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Public cautioned against new taxi fraudsters

BY: GNA

The public have been cautioned against a new trick allegedly used by taxi drivers in the Cape Coast Metropolis to steal moneys and other valuables from unsuspecting passengers who patronized their services.

According to Chief Inspector Samuel Winful, Commander of the Cape Coast Metro Police Division, these cabbie drivers target vulnerable members of the public, especially ladies at banks and other financial institutions.

Chief Inspector Winful, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the community durbar organized at the GPRTU lorry terminal in Cape Coast to educate the public on mental health, said just in one week, four of such cases had been reported to the Metro Division.

Explaining the tricks used by these drivers, the Police Chief said they strategically loitered around banks and other financial institutions and look out for ladies who had gone to cash money.

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After picking the passenger, whom they usually preferred to sit at the front seat, Chief Inspector Winful noted these taxi drivers intentionally lock the passenger doors in a bid to perpetrate their diabolic act.

He said when the passengers reached their destination and wanted to alight, they found it difficult to open the door, unknowing to them that the drivers had deliberately locked the door.

The drivers, he said would then ask their targets to give a metallic object or hair comb from their handbags to help fix the locked door.

Once the passenger opens her bag to bring an object out, the driver would quickly survey the contents of the bag, and would stretch himself on the passenger with the intent of opening the door but rob them.

Here, the driver would have succeeded shifting the attention of the passenger to the door, and with one hand opening the door, the other hand would be in the handbag stealing what he had targeted.

Chief Inspector Winful said the suspects were still being traced to track them down, and cautioned the public, especially ladies to be wary of such fraudsters when boarding taxis.

Reverend Margaret Yalley, Priest of the Church of the Living God in Cape Coast, who said she had been a victim of one of such frauds, reiterated the information by the Police Chief by sharing her encounter with the gathering.

She indicated that she had withdrawn money at the NIB Bank branch at Kingsway, a suburb of Cape Coast somewhere last month, for church activity when this taxi driver beckoned her to join him.

Reverend Yalley said she initially noticed a young lady sitting at the front seat besides the driver, but the driver asked the lady to move to the back seat, whilst offering the middle-aged woman the front seat.

She observed that on reaching her destination at the Ocean View building on the John Evans Mills Avenue, close to the Melcom Store, she found it difficult to open her side of the door until the driver deliberately tried to open for her.

The Priest said when she had crossed the road to the other side, she decided to buy something, and that was when she realized the money had gone.

Sadly, she added that she had seen the said driver in town a couple of times but she had only managed to hoot at him, instead of reporting the incident to the Police.