Nigerian swindles Ivorian

•  Agu Okechukwu Theodore,  the suspect

• Agu Okechukwu Theodore, the suspect

A Nigerian who allegedly swindled an Ivorian businessman of US$211,500,  has been arrested by the police at Adentan, near Accra.

Agu Okechukwu Theodore, 42, who claimed to be an estate developer, allegedly swindled his victim, the Chief Executive Officer of an Ivorian Cocoa Buying Company, who fled to Ghana for safety during the Ivorian conflict in 2011.

According to the police, Theodore, who has been living in Ghana for the past 19 years, took the money for safe keeping for a fee, but could not refund it to the victim upon request.

The Officer of the Documentation and Visa Section of Police Fraud Unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Seth Sewornu, who disclosed  this to The Ghanaian Times, said that, during the peak of the Ivorian conflict, the complainant, together with others fled to Ghana.

The complainant had in his possession, over one million dollars in a trunk.

He said the complainant confided in one Bamba, who was familiar with Ghana, to assist him to look for a safe place to keep the trunk, and its content.

The colleague took him to Theodore, who claimed he was the Director of MAZEE Security and Financial Company in Ghana and had security facility that could keep the money, charged US$22,000 for its safe keeping.

“The suspect took custody of the trunk and its contents, and issued a certificate of deposit to the complainant who, thereafter, left for Togo,” he added.

DSP Sewornu said that when the complainant returned for the trunk and its content, Theodore claimed he needed to pay customs duties of US$180,000 being 15 per cent of the total amount in the trunk, warehouse fee of US$22,000 and other charges of US$9,500 totaling US$211,500 before the trunk would be released.

Theodore introduced four other people, Sir Edward, Opoku, Daniel Ampeh and Kwame Frimpong to the victim as officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority who worked on customs duties and other taxes to facilitate the release of the trunk.

He collected US$211,500 from the complainant but failed to deliver the trunk and its content, and instead demanded further US$90,000.

He said the complainant became suspicious and reported the case to the police, leading to the arrest of Theodore last week.

DSP Sewornu, said investigations revealed that the company, MAZEE Security and Finance, did not exist.

By Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi     

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