A 27-year-old Nigerien-born Ghanaian, known only as Mallam Ali who extorted various sums of money from one Alhassan Ali A. Tanko, under the guise of multiplying the amount twenty times, is in the grips of the Accra Regional Police Command for fraud or what is now popularly known as sakawa.
According to ASP George Luri of the Regional CID Operations, Alhassan reported that somewhere around March in 2008, a friend of his called Mohamed, who claimed he was spiritually assisted by Mallam Ali to travel abroad, introduced him to the Mallam.
Armed with this piece of information, Alhassan sought the spiritual assistance of Mallam Ali to establish his own business.
During an encounter, Mallam Ali reportedly told Alhassan that if he gave him GHÃ‚Â¢20,000.00 he (Mallam Ali) could multiple it twenty times for him.
In order to show his spiritual prowess, Mallam Ali allegedly conjured several dollar bills in the presence of Alhassan who became convinced that his money could really be multiplied.
Later, suspect Ali requested that his victim should rent a one-unit two bedroom self-contained apartment for him which he did at the cost of GHÃ‚Â¢2,040.00 for a period of two years.
The suspect also asked his victim to fully furnish the apartment as well as buy him two 24-inch coloured televisions, which the victim did comply with.
The complainant in his bid to establish his own business did readily part with the sum of GHÃ‚Â¢15,000.00 to suspect to be multiplied.
A week later, he was given a box by suspect to be buried at the shore which would be excavated after three days, by which time that money would have multiplied twenty folds.
On the said day, Alhassan went to the designated place at the beach where the box suspected to be containing the money was buried but could not trace the tell-tale box.
When he consulted the spiritualist over the issue, he accompanied him to the shore and in a drama fashion, the suspect allegedly invoked some spirits and later informed Alhassan that the spirits had given a new procedure for the multiplication of the money.
Alhassan once again complied with the second process and provided a ram among other things which supposedly were needed for the ritual, yet there was no money.
It was at this stage that it dawned on him that he had been defrauded.
After several fruitless attempts to retrieve his money, he reported the matter to the Regional Police who are now investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, the suspect has denied ever extorting any such colossal sum of money from Alhassan. He however admitted that Alhassan was his client.
Suspect is expected to be arraigned today.
By Rocklyn Antonio