23 November 2012

Ghana: Private Investigator and Accomplice in Court for Fraud

A private investigator and an Administrator have been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly defrauding a Mining Engineer under the pretext of tracking down a blackmailer.

The accused persons, Benjamin Hammond Jnr and Benjamin Cudjoe, were allegedly hired by the complainant to investigate the one behind the anonymous phone calls, in which the blackmailer threatened to kill him and his family.

Hammond Jnr and Cudjoe, allegedly collected a total of GH¢7,400 from the complainant to persuade one Razak and Yakubu, who they claimed were behind the anonymous phone call that the complainant has been receiving.

The complainant, upon seeing no result, reported the case to the police, resulting in the arrest of the accused persons.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and defrauding by false pretense before the court, presided over by Ms. Audrey Kocouvie-Tay.

The court, therefore, admitted them to bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 with one surety each, who is suppose to be a civil servant. They are expected to re-appear before the court on December 6, 2012.

Narrating the facts to the court, the Prosecutor, A.A Annor told the court that in August 2011, the complainant received several threat messages on his mobile phone, some of which read: "you, we will kill you and your family", which made the complainant afraid and he informed his workers.

He said one of his workers, by name Adwoa Adu, disclosed that her boy friend, who is the first accused person, is a private investigator and the second accused person, were capable of finding the one behind the threat messages.

"The two accused persons were subsequently introduced to the complainant. Upon interaction, the accused persons charged GH¢ 1,100 to undertake the assignment, the complainant made an initial part payment of GH¢900", the Prosecutor told the court.

According to him, some few days later, after assigning them, the first accused person mentioned one Razak as the one sending the threat messages.

DSP Annor recounted that the accused persons collected GH¢3,000 to be given to the said Razak to influence him to stop threatening them, adding that the accused persons continued to demand for money, until the complainant finally gave them a total of GH¢7,400.

The Prosecutor further mentioned that after receiving the said money, the accused persons again mentioned one Yakubu as the man behind the threats.

"The accused persons adopted more tricks to collect money from the complainant, until he finally became fed up and reported the case to the police, after which they were arrested.

"Investigation disclosed that the accused persons conspired with certain unknown people to defraud the complainant", he indicated.

He emphasized that it was as well realized that the accused persons are not registered investigators.

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