Amoateng Nabbed For Passport Fraud

The former Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, is in more trouble.

Amoateng, who arrived in Accra yesterday, after serving a 10-year jail term for drug trafficking, is being investigated by the police in connection with passport fraud.

Police sources told the Times that, although Amoateng was arrested in the USA on December 11, 2005, he has in his possession, a valid Ghanaian passport number H2347080 issued in Accra on February 23, 2009.

Amoateng was tried in the USA for possession of heroin, subsequently convicted and jailed for 10 years which he served and was released last week Wednesday, July 30.

Police sources said “Mr. Amoateng was in prison at the time the passport he was travelling with, was issued and could therefore, not have been available at the time to apply for, and be issued with the passport.”

“Assuming that it was applied for on his behalf, the question would arise as to how the passport form was acquired and completed, given that there is a requirement for signature and thumbprint as the case was, with regard to the old passport form.”

The sources said preliminary checks at the Passport Office revealed that the passport, bearing Number H 2347080, was issued to a young lady named Barbara Inkum.

“Miss Inkum however, never received her passport, although the records still suggest that the passport is in her name.”

The investigation is being conducted into how Miss Inkum’s passport ended up in the hands of Amoateng, and bearing his particulars, while retaining only Miss Inkum’s passport number.

“Clearly, there is conclusive evidence that the passport in the possession of Mr. Amoateng was fraudulently acquired,” the source said, adding that Amoateng will therefore, be required to assist in the investigation to unravel the mystery surrounding the acquisition of his passport.

Earlier yesterday, at the Kotoka International Airport, sympathisers, relatives, and friends who thronged the airport to welcome Mr. Amoateng ended up being swerved.

The group, including members of the Nkoranza North branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who arrived in buses, together with a pastor of the Israel Pentecostal Church at Abiase, near Amasaman, Apostle Opoku William, who claimed God gave him a message to Amoateng to go into the pastoral ministry to win souls for Christ, were bewildered when security operatives managed to whisk Mr. Amoateng away.

Some police and military personnel were detailed there to provide security.

The Ghanaian Times learnt that some of the people were at the airport as early as 10 a.m., awaiting Mr. Amoateng’s arrival at 1:30 p.m. on a Delta Airlines flight, DL-478, from New York.

Although the flight delayed for 56 minutes, they remained at the welcoming lounge of the arrival hall, some bearing placards which read, ‘Amoateng we love you’, ‘You are our hero’, ‘Amoateng, you are welcome’ and “We still love you Amoateng’, among others.

Journalists who took up positions at the entrances of the departure and arrival halls, as well as the VIP lounge in a bid to capture Amoateng, were also disappointed.

It was after 3:40 p.m. that The Ghanaian Times gathered from its sources at the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) that the security operatives had whisked him to their office and had begun interrogating him.

When The Times got to the premises of NACOB, police personnel from the Special Weapons and Tactical team (SWAT), who were there to beef up security at the entrance of NACOB, were not even aware that the Nissan Patrol vehicle that had entered the yard, was carrying Amoateng.

. Sources at NACOB told the Times that the driver, after picking up Mr. Amoateng on the tarmac, used another entrance at the airport, used the Switchback road, through the Flagstaff House area to the offices of NACOB to avert any security threat.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Simon Ameyaw, former Organising Secretary of the Nkoranza North branch of the NPP and the Women’s Organiser, Madam Beatrice Acheampong, said, they left Nkoranza at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, and arrived in Accra at 4 a.m. yesterday.

They claimed Mr. Amoateng had been good to them, “very sympathetic and loyal to the community,” and did not discriminate.

Amoateng was arrested in the United States on December 11, 2005 for illegal possession of 136 pounds of heroin with a street value of about six million dollars.

He was consequently sentenced to a 10-year jail term by a US court, presided over by Judge David G. Tragger on December 12, 2007.

Amoateng’s seat in the Ghana Parliament, thus became vacant and so, the then Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes, on January 30, 2007, directed that his long absence from Parliament be investigated.

Amoateng, sent a resignation letter, dated, February 4, 2007, to the Speaker, which was accepted.

A by-election was thus held on March 13, 2007 and Major Derrick Oduro (retired) won to replace Amoateng, 16 months after his arrest.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffuor & Celestina Tsievor

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