The commander in-charge of the East Legon Police Station, DSP Emmanuel Basintale, and six other junior police officers have been arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for their alleged involvement in a gold fraud.
The seven police officers, according to police reports, connived with seven civilians to defraud some gold buyers to the tune of GH¢1,666,000.
The other suspects are RSM John Sovor, Corporal Baleto Buafuor, Lance Corporal Ignatius Asamoah Mensah, Detective Lance Corporal Cyrus Conduah, Detective Corporal John Maloni Juaba – all stationed at the East Legon Police Station and Detective Sergeant Charles Owusu Boateng of the Achimota School Police Station.
Their civilian counterparts are suspects Anthony Yaw Osei aka Wofa Osei, George Yeboah, Frederick Kofi AppIah aka Nana Adjei and William Hanson.
The rest are Nana Kofi Mensah, Joseph Boakye and Nana Adjei.
Four others, including a supposed queen mother of Tarkwa, are said to be at large and on the wanted list of the police.
Confirming the story, Superintendent Cephas Arthur, Police Public Relations Officer, said the police personnel and their civilian counterparts were arrested for their involvement in two separate gold fraud cases being investigated by the CID.
The first case was between the suspects and a gold dealing company called Green Global Resource Limited, a licensed company dealing in the purchase of gold in Ghana for export, while the second victim is an Indian national.
Green Global Resource on November 10, 2016, reportedly contacted one Adedayo Jelil Adedotum, a businessman, who has a track record in the purchase of gold to assist them buy gold.
Mr. Adedayo then arranged a meeting for officials of the company and suspects Courage Gegepe and one Frank, who claimed to be a gold seller, at a hotel in Accra.
During the said meeting, Courage allegedly offered for sale to the Green Global officials 20 kilograms of gold at USD31,000 per a kilogram.
The gold was tested at the bank and found to be of real gold worth 20 22karats purity but when the bankers wanted to effect payment to the sellers, the said queen mother declined, adding that too many people in the bank had witnessed the transaction.
Another meeting was scheduled to take place at a hotel at Roman Ridge in Accra the following day for the payment to be made.
On November 12, 2016, the suspects booked a private room at a hotel where the buyers came again to complete the transaction.
Two of the bars were below 22 karats and so another negotiation of GH¢282,000 was offered for it.
Courage and the queen mother reportedly left with the money and a police pick-up with four police officers identified as RSM John Sovor, Corporal Baleto Baafuor, Lance Corporal Ignatius Asamoah Mensah, Detective Lance Corporal Cyrus Conduah and one George Yeboah entered the private hotel room to arrest two sons of the queen mother and the officials of Green Global Resources for stealing gold.
The police then took possession of all the 13 gold bars and transported the arrested persons to the East Legon Police Station.
DSP Basintale then inspected the 13 gold bars which were then in safekeeping at his office in the presence of the arrested persons and locked the office.
When the case was later transferred to the CID headquarters for investigations, the senior police commander was requested to present the evidence and when the gold was tested at the headquarters, it was discovered that the 13 bars were all fake gold.
Superintended Arthur said police investigations revealed that the police arrested the suspects at the hotel based on a report made by one George Yeboah that his 13 bars of gold had been stolen by the said queen mother and her cohorts at a hotel.
Officials of the said hotel, when contacted by the police, said the said George Yeboah, the complainant, never lodged any complaint of theft to them while lodging at the hotel.
He said further checks also revealed that the policemen and the district commander conspired with George Yeboah, Courage Gegepe, Wofa Yaw and the queen mother and the others to defraud the buyers and that even though the 13 bars were pure gold, they were later swapped with fake ones while in the possession of the district commander.
In a related development, DSP Emmanuel Basintale, together with the same junior officers and a police officer at the Achimota School Police Station, allegedly used the same modus operandi to collect three kilograms of gold worth GH¢366,300 from an Indian identified as Rajendra Kuma Dadhich.