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Monday, October 25, 2021

Ghanaian businessman fails to meet GH¢6.3 million bail

Alhaji Siba Yahaya is believed to have taken a total of $1,075,000 from the investors

• Yahaya allegedly took over $1m from investors from the UK to supply them gold

• The accused is still in police custody

• His accomplice, Samuel Asante, is on the run

Alhaji Siba Yahaya, the businessman who was accused of allegedly defrauding some foreign investors in a more than $1 million gold scam has been unable to meet his bail terms of GH¢6.340 million.

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The case, which has been adjourned to October 13, 2021, will now see the businessman justifying his bail with three sureties, two of which are to be public servants with landed property, half of which must be worth GH¢3 million, reports graphic.com.gh.

It will be recalled that in GhanaWeb’s earlier report on this case, Emmanuel Essandoh, who is the judge sitting on the case, had, on September 13 this year, issued a bench warrant for the accused after he failed to appear before the court after he had been summoned to it.

Later, however, the court rescinded the bench warrant when Yahaya presented himself to the court, the report added.

In an updated report, graphic.com.gh reports that unable to meet the bail conditions, Yahaya is still the custody of the police even as investigations proceed.

Background

GhanaWeb reported on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, that the prosecuting officer in the case, Inspector Eric Pobee, told the court that two United Kingdom investors and their business partners were introduced to Yahaya in 2020 as someone engaged in the trade of gold.

After expressing their interests in purchasing the gold from him, they then traveled to Ghana upon Yahaya’s request, since he requested a face-to-face meeting so they could transact the business more effectively.

The report added that in the company of an accomplice, Samuel Asante – who is now at large, they showed the investors 20 kilogrammes of gold bars and the investors readily showed interest in buying 5 kilos of them.

Yahaya and Samuel then demanded and collected $69,000 as initial part-payment of the value of the gold and promised to export the gold to the investors after presenting them with a receipt.

The delivery point was supposed to be Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, but Yahaya and his accomplice only ended up exporting one kilo of the gold to them.

The report added that they then gave reasons that they could not export the appropriate quantity of gold because of delays in the documentation process by Customs officials at the Kotoka International Airport.

Yahaya however gave assurances to the investors that the rest of the consignment would be sent to them on December 3, 2020, but this did not materialize.

The prosecutor continued that Yahaya then later requested for $130,000, being the outstanding payment for the four kilos of gold, and then another $70,000 as guarantee from the investors so as to send them the rest of the precious mineral.

Following this, Yahaya gave another excuse that due to the closure of international borders, he was not able to get any flight to send the gold to the investors, adding that the waybill to facilitate the export was also rejected by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company.

“Yahaya also claimed the waybill to facilitate the export of the gold could not be accepted by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company, as the quantity was too small, so he would add six additional kilogrammes of gold to bring the total to 10 kilogrammes for easy export.

“On July 17, 2020, Yahaya told the investors he had been arrested by INTERPOL and officials of some security agencies and the gold bars had been confiscated,” the report said.

Yahaya is said to have asked the investors for an extra $300,000 to facilitate the release of the gold to him from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The investors then sent him the $300,000, bringing the total amount they had sent to him at that point to $1,075,000, but they still did not receive their product.

This, Inspector Eric Pobee told the court, led to his arrest and a charge of conspiracy to defraud by false pretenses, defrauding by false pretenses, and selling and buying minerals without license, were slapped on him.

He was later bailed but failed to appear in court at its next sitting.

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