Michael Ayittey Okine, alias Ayitey Powers, a professional Ghanaian boxer, was yesterday arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly taking money from two residents of Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, amounting to GH¢14,000 under the pretext of securing them visas.
The suspect was put before a court presided over by Audrey Kocuvie- Tay and charged with defrauding by false pretence.
He pleaded not guilty and has been granted a GH¢50,000 bail with two sureties, while the case has been adjourned to September 18, 2014.
Presenting the facts of the case, the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Isaac Agbemehia, said the complainants were Nana Oppong Yaw of Asuoyeboah and Kofi Asante of Abrepoh Junction in Kumasi.
According to him, in November 2013, the suspect purportedly took advantage of his boxing career and claimed he could acquire visas for some Ghanaians to travel to Australia as part of his boxing team.
He said some Ghanaians resident in Australia who heard about the supposed deal, went and saw the boxer and told him they wanted some family members to join them, adding that he (Powers) allegedly promised that he could assist them.
The prosecutor stated that as a result of that, Nana Oppong paid to the suspect GH¢6,500 while Asante paid him GH¢7,500; and Ayitey took their passports with the aim of acquiring visas for them.
Furthermore, the prosecutor noted that even though the complainants were not boxers, the suspect acquired boxers’ identification cards for them from the boxing authority which he forwarded to the Australian High Commission and showed evidence to the complainants on February 12, 2014.
Explaining further, Chief Inspector Agbemehia said the complainants were not satisfied with the turn of events regarding their visa application and asked the boxer for a refund but he failed to do so.
He observed that the victims reported the matter to the police and the boxer, recently defeated by Bukom Banku, another Ghanaian boxer, in a recent boxing bout, was consequently arraigned before the court.