Three persons suspected to be members of a passport and visa falsification gang have appeared before an Accra Circuit Court for forgery.
They are Moses Lamptey, aka OBK, 69, trader; William Kofi Mensah, aka Gaye, 45, businessman; and Eric Nyamekye, 35, aka Rasta, an artist.
It is the case of the prosecution led by Chief Superintendent Duuti Tuaruka that the accused persons on January 22, this year in Accra conspired to forge and forged official documents.
Also charged with possessing official documents, uttering official documents and forging other official documents, the accused persons were allegedly arrested with 181 Ghanaian passports and 13 other passports including that of the Netherlands, Nigeria and Britain.
Appearing before the court presided over by Aboagye Tandoh, the three persons denied the offence and were remanded in police custody.
This was after the court had dismissed the request for bail on health grounds filed by Bannerman Williams.
He had argued that OBK, who had been in custody for five days, was a diabetic who had been off his medication for the period.
Mr Williams said the prosecution had only told the court that further investigations into the case were ongoing but not that the accused would interfere with the investigations when bailed.
The lawyer stated that the trial ought not to be allowed to take a toll on the health of the accused.
The facts of the case are that on the said date, the Regional Police Command received information that some people were engaged in falsification of fake passports and visas around Anyaa, Kokomlemle, Bubiashie and Bortianor Base.
C/Supt Tuaruka said based on the information, the police embarked on an operation in the aforementioned areas where the suspects were arrested in their various places of abode.
He noted that a search conducted on Moses revealed one printer, 60 Ghanaian and other national passports, one median passport and a Sanyo recorder.
For Gaye, 135 Ghanaian and international passports, 69 rubber stamps used for visa application, 41 police CID clearance forms, 41 police CID seals and two lamination machines were retrieved.
C/Supt Tuaruka stated that at the residences of Rasta in both Anyaa and Bortianor, a Toshiba laptop, three coloured Dell printers, an HP external hard drive and five different countries’ rubber stamps used for documentation and visas and binary code charts used in calculating codes for fake passports were found.
The accused persons admitted the offence, stating that they made the visas for their clients to help them outwit the embassies.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson