Forester in court for defrauding CEO, others of GH¢6.6m

Mr. David Asante-Apeatu -IGP

Mr. David Asante-Apeatu -IGP

A 54-year-old denior forester has been put before the Accra Circuit Court “8” for allegedly defrauding the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Amen Scientific Herbal Hospital, and others of GH¢6.6 million.


The accused, Mr Frank Kofi Frempong, a resident of Coastal Estates, Tema, who has been charged with defrauding by false pretence and issuance of false cheques, first collected GH¢1.5 million from Sheikh Dr. Amin Mohammed Osei Bonsu, the CEO, under the pretext of investing the money in a Vision 2050 Forestry Project ,and would pay him (victim) 100 per cent dividend every three months.


Frempong again collected GH¢5.1 million from Mr. Steven Adjei, a businessman, and other members of Ghana Muslim Mission, to invest in the same project, and pay them 160 per cent dividend, but this later turned out to be false.


Mr  Frempong, who committed the crime between 2015 and 2016, was not in court yesterday when the case was  called for hearing, but his defence counsel told the presiding judge, Mrs Malike Awo Woanya Dey, that his client was sick hence his inability to avail himself.


The lawyer, however, pleaded with the court to be given 15 days by which time they would have paid the money as they were committed to do so.


He told the presiding judge that he had already taken GH¢78,000.00 from the accused as part of the money  he (accused) owed the complainants.


In view of the lawyer’s pleadings for extension of time, the judge adjourned the case to October 24, 2018, for continuation.


The accused has been charged with defrauding by false pretence and issuance of false cheques.


The facts presented by Chief Inspector Emmanuel Haligah were that, Frempong came into contact with Mr Stephen Nana Adjei at Dome Railways Crossing, Accra, in 2010, and during conversation, he introduced himself to the victim (Nana Adjei) as a senior forester in-charge of a United Nations and World Bank funded Free Plantation Project in Ghana.


The prosecutor said that the accused explained to the victim how viable the project was and also beneficial for someone to invest in it.


He said that the first complainant, Stephen Nana Adjei, later informed Sheikh Dr. Bonsu, about the project.


Chief Insp Haligah said that accused scheduled a meeting with the victims, and based on what he told them, they (victims) showed interest in the project.


The court heard that Frempong told the complainants to use their land in the Ashanti Region for the project, especially for the cultivation of Moringa, with the assurance that the United Nations and the World Bank would reimburse them three months after they had pre-financed and started the project.


The prosecutor said that when the three months elapsed without any signs of reimbursement, the accused started to give excuses to the victims, and went further to tell them that the entire project was geared towards alleviation of poverty .


The accused requested, also, that they should inform the Ghana Muslim Mission about the benefits they would derive if they invested in it, which they did.


According to the prosecutor, the accused went with the victims to the members of the Ghana Muslim Mission, and educated them on the Vision 2050 Tree Planting Project, and the dividends they would be paid.


Chief Insp Haligah said that Frempong asked the complainants to pay money into Account Numbers 0021010539417 and 0051020539414, at the CAL Bank, Independence Avenue Branch in the name of Vision 20-50 Forestry (GH) Limited.


He said that the accused convinced the complainants together with other witnesses that the money, which had been invested would be transferred into an Excro Account and used the same modus operandi to deceive Sheikh Dr. Bonsu to part with GH¢1.5 million towards the project.


He said that Frempong within the same period collected various sums of money totaling GH¢5,126,000.00 from Mr Stephen Nana Adjei and other members of the Ghana Muslim Mission.

By Castro Zangina-Tong           

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