A 35-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly using Tonaton.com to defraud prospective car buyers.
The suspect, identified as Henry Palm, who described himself as self-employed and resident of Tema Community 8, is said to have posed as the owner of a Daewoo Matrix car displayed on Tonaton.com for sale.
Tonaton.com is an advertisement website that allows people to post free online classifieds with their contact details and, in some cases, the prices of the items.
Two other accomplices are on the run. The name of one of the accomplices was only given as Nana, while identity of the other is yet to be established.
Classifieds on Tonaton.com
The Odorkor District Police Crime Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Emmanuel Osei Agbogah, said a driver,â€ˆMr Jonathan Ofori, saw the Daewoo Matrix on Tonaton.com and wanted to buy it.
He said Mr Ofori called the mobile phone contact displayed on the web, along with the picture of the car, and a man who identified himself as Nana answered the call.
On September 10, 2014, Ofori agreed to meet Nana, who had informed him (Ofori) that the car was at Mallam in Accra.
After Ofori had inspected the car at Mallam, the two settled on the price, after which Nana led Ofori to meet the owner of the car, who was said to be resident at Kwashieman in Accra.
At Kwashieman, Mr Agbogah said, Ofori met Palm and paid GHc9,000 to him as the full cost of the car.
Palm and Nana then asked Ofori to wait for them as they got the documents covering the car for him to go and take over the car, which was parked at Mallam.
‘Unknown to Ofori, the house had two gates. While he waited, the two went out through the second gate to board an unregistered Toyota Camry saloon car which was driven by the unknown driver and sped off,’ Mr Agbogah said.
He said Ofori hen rushed to the spot where the Daewoo Matrix was parked but ‘it was nowhere to be traced’.
Victims arrest suspect
On September 12, 2014, Ofori and a friend saw a Toyota Camry saloon car on Tonaton.com with the same mobile contact details.
‘So the friend, who is a witness in this case, expressed interest in the car and called the number and it was answered by Nana. They agreed to meet at North Kaneshie to inspect the car and make payment,’ he said.
At North Kaneshie, Mr Agbogah said, Ofori identified the men and the car as the one in which they had escaped, ‘but Nana bolted, while they managed to arrest Palm and handed him over to the police’.
He said Palm stated in his caution statement that the keys to the Toyota Camry had been given to him by Nana, ‘but he failed to assist us to arrest his accomplices’.
The unregistered Toyota Camry saloon car has been impounded.
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