Gifty Amofa, GNA
Accra, March 13, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court has granted five persons bail in the sum of GH¢170,000.00 each with three sureties each for allegedly attempting to steal GH¢166,250.00 belonging to EcoBank.
The Court presided over by Mrs Jane Harriett Akweley Quaye ordered that each of the sureties should earn not less than GH¢1,000.00 a month.
The accused namely Mark Ntonipa Owusu Boadu, a building contractor, Elis Apan, a tailor, Wisdom Kpogoh, a car rentals operator, Francis Azameti and Jeffrees Opoku Amoah, former employees of the complainant denied conspiring and attempting to steal and forging of documents.
Boadu also pleaded not guilty to the additional charges of possessing forged document, whilst Apan, Kpogoh, Azameti, Amoah also denied abetment to steal.
Their accomplices Peter Adu Gyamfi and two others, who were only named as Nana and Ibrahim are currently at large police.
They will make their next appearance on April 9.
Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Emmanuel Haligah told the Court that the complainant in the case is the Investigative Officer of EcoBank Ghana Limited whilst the five accused are residents of Accra.
He said on August 28, 2018, Ecobank Ghana Transacting Processing Unit received an Ecobank cheque with a face value GH¢166,250.00 from Zenith bank for confirmation.
He said the cheque was to be drawn on the account of one Mr William Oppong-Bio, an Ecobank customer and it was to be paid to Boadu, a Zenith bank customer.
Chief Inspector Haligah said the Relationship Manager contacted the customer, whose account the money was to be drawn upon on the phone number which was written at the back of the cheque purporting to be that of Mr Oppong-Bio.
He said upon the call the alleged customer purporting to be Mr Oppong-Bio asked the branch to honour the cheque.
The prosecution said not being convinced, the Manager further engaged the supposed customer through a whatsapp chat on a known number of Mr Oppong-Bio and realised that the customer had travelled to China and had not issued the cheque in question so refused to honour the cheque.
The Prosecution said further investigations upon the return of Mr Oppong-Bio on his bank statement revealed that GH¢4,900.00 had been withdrawn without his authorisation, so on November 18, 2018, Boadu was traced and arrested by the Police.
Mr Haligah said in his caution statement, he admitted presenting an earlier cheque and that, the one with the face value GH¢166,250.00 was given to him by one Ibrahim, now at large, who was at the time in the company of Amoah, Nana, Ibrahim and Gyamfi at the Achimota Mall.
He said investigations revealed that Mr Oppong-Bio’s cheque number was cloned and sim chip also swapped by the accused persons, that was why a respondent to the call confirmed that the cheque should be honoured as if it was Mr Oppong-Bio.
He said Boadu told the Police that Amoah, Nana, Ibrahim and Gyamfi were introduced to him by Apan and Kpogoh to purchase a property at Adentan Housing Down in Accra.
The Prosecution said on December 4, 2018, Azameti was arrested and he mentioned Amoah in his caution statement as the one, who introduced him to Nana, Ibrahim and Gyamfi.
The prosecution said Azameti said he had several meetings with all the seven accused persons regarding the cloned cheque.
He said Azameti confirmed that Mr Oppong-Bio is the owner of the cheque and he was his former boss and that he once sent him with a cheque leaflet to withdraw money for him and in the process he and Amoah took pictures of the cheque with their phones.
The Prosecution said Amoah sent the picture of the cheque through Whatsapp to Nana and he cloned it.
Chief Inspector Haligah said Apan and Kpogoh upon being arrested confessed introducing Ibrahim to Boadu but failed to lead Police to him.