Fake Gold Dealers Busted
The police at Korle Bu are currently holding three persons, Abu Dauda, Selorm Bansah and Patrick Agbotse for defrauding a businessman, Kwabena Amponsah Amoabeng to the tune of GH¢40,000. The three were part of a group of five, two of whom are currently at large, who swindled their victim by selling him fake gold. Presenting the case to the court, detective Sergeant E. Ofori of the Korle Bu police station, who is the investigator, said on December 17, 2010, Mr. Amponsah visited his herbalist friend at Abeka Lapaz in Accra and made known to him his desire to buy gold and ship same to his business partner in Denmark. The first accused, Abu, who claims to be a professional driver and lives with the victim’s herbalist friend, overheard the conversation and secretly passed the information on to the second accused, Selorm, a self-styled clearing agent. They then hatched a plan with the intent of defrauding the complainant by selling him fake gold. Abu secretly took the complainants/victim’s phone number from his herbalist friend’s notebook and gave it to Selorm, who called the victim and introduced Emmanuel and Samuel (the other two who are at large) as gold dealers based in Bibiani in the Western region who had some gold to sell. At about 2:30pm the same day, Selorm called the victim and asked him to meet them at a hotel at Lapaz, where they showed him some yellowish metal, claiming it was gold. The suspects sold the ‘gold’ for US$60,000. Mr. Amoabeng however made a part payment of GH¢40,000, the equivalent US$28,500, promising to pay the rest later. The complainant later sent the supposed gold to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) for testing, where it was detected to be fake. The accused persons then went into hiding and switched off their mobile phones to avoid being tracked. A ploy was coined where a policeman, Lance Corporal Bonaventure Awulege, pretending to be a businessman, called Selorm and told him he was interested in buying some gold. The first and third accused, Abu and Patrick, therefore arranged to meet him at the Achimota Plaza hotel. They were arrested when they showed up and presented the yellowish metals as gold. The two subsequently led the police to arrest Selorm. The other accomplices are still at large. In their caution statement, Abu and Selorm admitted to committing the offence, with Abu claiming to have used part of the money to purchase an Opel Astra with registration number GR 4610-V whilst Selorm used his to blow time. The vehicle has since been retrieved. The three are standing trial for multiple counts of conspiracy, attempt to commit crime and defrauding by false pretences. They have thus been remanded into police custody and scheduled to reappear in court on Monday, 31st January 2011.