9 nabbed over investment scam

The five suspects from left Samuel AsieduA syndicate defrauding foreign inves-tors, in typical 419 scam, has been busted by the police.

Nine members of the syndicate, four of them Nigerians, were arrested after they defrauded two Australians of about two million dollars.

They are Henry Biney, 43, a teller at the Pig Farm branch of SG-SSB Bank, Samuel Asiedu, 40; Prince Ebo Biney, 23; Pascal Mensah, 34, and Stephanie Akile, 29, all Ghanaians.

The rest are Japheth Lucky Ogoro, 31, the leader, Joseph Iyaniu, 47, Robbie Ovie Gospel, 33, and Peter Emuobo Ubiebor, 42, the Nigerians

Mr Prosper Kwame Agblor, Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department, told The Ghanaian Times that in 2008, Ogoro, operating under the name, James Frank Kwofie, communicated with Mr, Peter Melvin Kleining. an Australian, through emails.

Ogoro told Melvin that he owned Silver Gold Investment Limited with branches in Benin and Togo, and he needed partners to invest in new businesses.

According to the CID Commander, victim bought into the idea and started transferring monies into a number of bank accounts, provided by Ogoro.

Mr. Kleining so believed in the deal that he also convinced another Australian, Fred Williams, 78, to join in the business, and Williams also paid various sums money into the accounts.

To facilitate the fraud, Ogoro engaged the other suspects, and introduced them to the Australians as his partners.

They also opened an account into which the Australians transferred monies through Western Union Money Transfer.

COP Agblor said the arrangement was that “the account holders take 10 per cent share of all monies transferred into their accounts, and leave the rest for Ogoro”.

At a point, Western Union blocked the two Australians from sending monies because they had exceeded their annual quota, but they used relatives and friends to send more money to the fraudsters.

About two months ago, the Australians became suspicious when they were not getting proper reports on the progress of the business, and reported the matter to the Australian Police.

A collaborative operation between the CID and the Financial Intelligence Centre of Ghana, and the Major Fraud Squad of the Australian Police, led to the arrest of the suspects, at different locations in the country.

The suspects are currently on police enquiry bail, while investigations continue.

By Anita Nyarko

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