Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Judge Tasks Police To Check '419' Fraudsters

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

Tuesday, 05 May 2009

A Circuit Court judge, D.E.K. Daketsey, has urged the police administration to widen and step up its campaign against fraud, popularly known as “419” in the wake of its increase in the country.

The judge who made the call yesterday during court proceedings said the rate at which cases of 419 fraud were being recorded everyday, raised concern and needed vigorous campaign by the police.

He said that through technology, fraudsters are able to use computer to make calls with international identities and present themselves as whites to defraud people here through various means.

Mr.Daketsey’s comment followed a fraud case brought before him yesterday in which a 58-year-old man used false pretence to defraud a woman of 430 dollars in a medicinal seed deal.

The Times investigation has revealed that an average of about five cases of defrauding by false pretence is recorded weekly by one court at the 28th February Courts, in Accra.

The judge suggested to the police to “fuse its anti-fraud educational campaigns into prime programmes of television and radio stations, such as 7 pm news bulletins, among others, since that is the periods a lot of people would be watching or listening.”

He said it was important the for police to target almost all the various types of media in the country for maximum impact.

Mr Daketsey asked the police to include examples of fraud cases and how they were carried out, among other things.

Further, the judge also blamed the victims, some of who are of high class in society or educated.

He observed that some of the strategies used by the fraudsters were so flimsy that the victims, especially the educated ones, could detect them easily but they eventually fell victim to them.

Meanwhile, two people who robbed a man of his taxi cab at knife point have been remanded to prison custody by an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Iddrisu Mahamadu.

The two, Mazu Ali and Stephen Nyadzi who are aluminium fabricator and mason respectively, pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to rob and robbery.

They are to appear again on May 18.

The prosecution told the court that on January 18, at Akweteman, a suburb of Accra, the two men chartered the taxi which was being driven by Richard Ansah, to Achimota Kimbi area.

The prosecution said that on reaching Kimbu, Ali asked the driver to stop since he wanted to alight, and immediately he stopped, Nyadzi held the driver’s neck and threatened him with a knife.

Ali then striped off the driver’s trousers and made away with driving licence, mobile phone and a cash amount of GH 50 in the taxi cab.

Prosecution said the driver saw Nyadzi later and raised the alarm leading to his arrested.

A search on him revealed the driver’s identity card and amount of money but the car was retrieved without its battery and tape.

Later, Ali was also arrested for mobile phone stealing and was identified by Nyadzi as his accomplice.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Chinese Prostitutes' Case

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

Monday, 27 April 2009

An Accra circuit court will on June 2, deliver judgement in the trial of the three Chinese who allegedly trafficked seven female Chinese into the country for prostitution.

The court, presided over by Mrs. Elizabeth Ankumah, fixed the date after the prosecution and the defence counsel filed their addresses with the court.

The three accused persons James Xu Jim, his wife, Chou Xiou Ying and his brother, Sam Shan Zifan were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and human trafficking, but they pleaded not guilty.

The trial, began on March 5, and the court heard nine prosecution witnesses and one defence witness. On April 6, it went on a fact-finding mission to the house where the victims were allegedly exploited by the accused.

The trip was at the request of the prosecution to enable it to prove its case that the house, at La, a suburb of Accra, was being used as a brothel and not a restaurant as claimed by the accused.

The rescue of the seven females by the police followed months of investigation by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, into the activities of the three accused persons.

On February 14, the police raided the house and suburb of La called Agyemang, where the three accused persons were arrested and the seven female victims rescued. A car allegedly used by the accused to convey their victims to their clients was also impounded.

A-G Intervenes In Contempt Case

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

Monday, 27 April 2009

The Deputy Attorney General on Thursday urgently intervened in a contempt case against the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashitey and three high ranking officials of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).

The four, appeared before an Accra High Court to answer contempt charges against them. Details of the intervention by the Deputy Minister Mr. Ebow Barton Oduro were not known as the case was heard in the judge’s chamber when it was called.

Mr. Ashitey, Fats Nartey, Chief Director of RCC, J.A. Tufour and Chief Okai, Director of Administration and Chief Security of the AMA were cited for contempt on Monday after they allegedly caused work on the construction of commercial stores and offices at the Tudu lorry park in Accra to be stopped contrary to the court’s order.

The court had on April 8, directed Continental Sikaman Agencies Limited to continue construction work on the project but on the orders of Mr. Ashitey, an AMA task force caused work to be stopped at the project site on April 10.

The AMA leased the land to the company in 2007 for 25 years, after the company won a competitive bid to construct market stores and offices for rent.

However, the market women, mainly tomato sellers occupying the land, have refused to leave the place to allow work to go on.

The women, initiated legal action against the company and AMA at the High Court in October, 2007.

The court granted an application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the company from relocating the traders, but on July 25, 2008 it set aside the injection and ordered the company to give an undertaking to complete the project within 12 months and give the women the first option to rent them.

When the case was initially called on Thursday at about 9.30 am, however, all the respondents were present with the exception of the Regional Minister.

Counsel for the minister, Ms. Hanna Pearl Siriboe, informed the court presided over mMinister was in a meeting but the judge insisted that he appeared personally.

“He must be here! The dignity and regard that must be accorded the court should be sacred,”
he stressed.

He noted that the matter was a contempt case, hence the parties must appear in persons because there were consequences for not appearing to answer the charge.

He, therefore, stood the case down to 2.00pm to enable the minister to appear.

When the case was resumed in the afternoon, the minister showed up with the Deputy Attorney-General, Mr. Barton-Oduro,and after the counsel for respondents had introduced themselves, Justice Ofosu-Quartey remarked, “The court is a sanctuary which has it dignity and not a place for beating war durms to resolve issues”.

The judge then called the parties to his chambers and after about 20 minutes, returned to announce that the construction firm should hold on with work on the project until May 7, to allow the dispute over the land at the Tudu park to be resolved.

Justice Ofosu-Quartey commended the Deputy Attorney-General for his intervention

2 Nigerian Women Forced Into Prostitution

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

Friday, 24 April 2009

Four Nigerians who allegedly trafficked two female compatriots into Ghana, subjected them to inhumane treatment and forced them into prostitution, were yesterday put before an Accra Circuit Court.

The four were alleged to have slashed the private parts of the women and blotted the blood with cotton wood.

Thereafter, they blindfolded and took them to a fetish priest for rituals to ensure that they submit the proceeds from their prostitution to the accused persons, and also that they would not return to Nigeria.

The accused, Joseph Anayo Eze, Miriam William, Ijeioma Inyama and Amadi Stephanie, are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and human trafficking and have been remanded to police custody to enable them to secure a lawyer.

Although their charges were read to them, their plea was not taken.

They told the court presided over by Mr. C.A Wilson that they needed time to secure a lawyer.

The case was therefore adjourned to May 7.

Before then, Ms. Wilson said if by the next adjourned date, they had not been able to secure a lawyer, she would get in touch with the Legal Aid Board to assist them.

Both victims (name withheld aged 20 years were alleged to have been brought into the country by Eze under the pretext of sending them to Europe. But in Ghana, he handed them to William for a fee of GH¢1,000 to, introduced into prostitution.

Prosecuting, ASP Mary Agbozo told the court that Eze, who was a family friend to the victims, brought them to Ghana under the pretext of sending them to Europe but when they arrived in Accra, he handed them to William on arrival in Accra.

According to her, Eze was assisted by Inyama and Stephanie to forcibly cut the thumbs of the victims gave them the blood to drink after which they stripped them naked and shaved their pubic hair.

They then used sharp blades to make incisions on the vagina, of the victims and blotted the blood that oozed out with cotton wool.

ASP Agbozo said the victims were then blindfolded by the three accused persons and taken to a fetish priest, where they were made to swear that they would return proceeds from their prostitution business to the accused persons and would also not return to Nigeria.

They also swore not to disclose the ordeal to anyone.

ASP Agbozo said on April 18, when the victims were sent out for prostitution, they went to tell a pastor about their ordeal and the pastor in turn reported the matter to the police who arrested the accused.