Two Nigerians, who allegedly defrauded a German female engineer to the tune of £260,000 and $350,000 (GH¢2.7 million) under the pretext of supplying her with gold, have been arraigned before court for fraud.
The accused persons, Mark Adigun Latif alias Nana Adjei and Toefeek Ajisafe Oluwashola alias Benjamin Osei, were put in an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Afi Agbaney Kudamor and charged with conspiracy to commit crime. They pleaded not guilty.
They have been granted bail in the sum of GH¢30,000 with two sureties while the case has been adjourned to January 27, 2016.
The facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, ASP AA Yirenkyi, are that the complainant is Walfraus Wiscentan, an engineer by profession, while the accused persons are Nigerians who have assumed Ghanaian names.
He said in August 2011, the engineer met a man on the internet by name Chris Walters, who is currently at large, and the said Walters claimed he was from Nottingham and was into gold business in Ghana.
According to ASP Yirenkyi, Walfraus Wiscentan arrived in Ghana at the invitation of the accused persons and was picked by an unknown person to GS Plaza; and that two hours later another Nigerian – at large – called lawyer Evans Agyemang, went to the hotel and purported to complete some processes for the sale of gold and then informed her that the suspect (Walters) had been arrested in a gold deal.
The prosecutor told the court that the said Agyemang had told the complainant that they needed £375,000 to get him (Walters) out of court and to give a portion of the money to the Minerals Commission.
ASP Yirenkyi indicated that the following day Agyemang went to the lady engineer with a document which he claimed was an agreement and then took Walfraus Wiscentan to the office of Latif and said he (Latif) was a gold dealer.
The police officer said Latif took out some supposed gold from a box and claimed it was worth the £375,000 they were asking for and promised to give it to her if she paid for it.
The police officer said on the third day Oluwashola went to the lady and posed as a lawyer who had been assigned by the said Walters to take care of her stay in Ghana and added that on the eighth day Oluwashola went with a certain lady who they claimed was a banker, to the complainant.
Furthermore, the prosecutor stated that the two took Madam Walfraus Wiscentan to a bank and made her use her passport to sign other documents and they made her open an account and claimed it would secure the freedom of Walters.
In addition, ASP Yirenkyi said Oluwashola took the engineer to a room and showed her $125,000 notes with serial numbers, which were jotted down and the lady was told that if Walters was released he would send her gold and some money in Germany.
The prosecutor said Oluwashola and Agyemang later sent an email to the complainant giving her account numbers at Ecobank and Guarantee Trust Bank and lured her into paying various sums of money into them.
The prosecutor stated that on September 12, 2011 the syndicate sent her a letter claiming it came from the Ministry of Transport, indicating that an amount of $25 million had been awarded to Chris Walters, who managed to convince her to pay an additional 15,000.
He said having realized she had been defrauded, the complainant made a report to the police, leading to the arrest of the two men while the others went underground.
The prosecutor said the case was still under investigation.
By Fidelia Achama