Eight people have been granted GH¢100,000 bail with two sureties each by an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly engaging in illegal currency trade on the ‘black market’.
One of the sureties must be justified by land documents or any property equivalent to GH¢ 100,000.
Accused were also ordered to report to the police twice a month.
They have been charged with engaging in business of dealing in foreign exchange without licence.
They all pleaded not guilty.
The court presided over by Mrs Adelaide Abui-Keddey set December 12 for the next hearing.
Arguing for bail, counsel for the accused, Victor Kojogah Adawudu, told the court that his clients were engaged in decent work such as trading, security work and commercial dispatch ‘Okada‘ riding at Tudu.
He added that, it was unfortunate that the accused were at the wrong place when the police conducted a swoop to arrest people engaged in illegal currency trade at the location.
He added that his clients had a fixed place of abode, posed no flight-risk and had family and friends ready to stand in as sureties.
In opposition, Chief Inspector Isaac Babayi expressed concern that granting the accused bail may interfere with their investigations as they were on the hunt for other culprits, whose accused may tip-off when released.
He added that accused also posed a flight risk and pointed to defense counsel’s submission that one of the accused Barkisu Yakubu was travelling to Nigeria for business when she was nabbed.
The facts led by Chief Insp. Babayi was that the accused were Mohammed Ali, Barkisu Yakubu, Shaibu Suleman Issah and Baryl Ali.
The others were Bashiru Saadu, Saadu Hamidu, Mumudu Shamsudeen and Karim Yahaya.
Chief Insp. Babayi said on November 10, 2022 a team of police personnel in collaboration with officials of the Bank of Ghana embarked on an intelligence led operation to clamp down illegal activities of forex trade business in Ghana.
That operation, he said, led them to Tudu in Accra where they arrested the accused who were transacting the business of exchanging currencies.
He added that investigations later disclosed that the accused were engaged in foreign exchange business without license.
Chief Insp. Babayi told the court that a search conducted on the accused revealed thousands of Ghana Cedis and other foreign currencies on some of them.
He said others succeeded in passing monies on to their accomplices who fled with it.
“These monies were retrieved from the accused as indicated against their names; Mohammed Ali GH¢2,300 and $87 USD, Barikisu Yakubu
GH¢10,010 and ₦6,002 Naira, Shaibu Suleman Issah GH¢3,850 and CFA65, 000, Baryi Ali GH¢ 848, CFA 80,000 and USD $70.
“Bashiru Saadu GH¢ 52.00 and ₦25 Naira, Saadu Hamidu GH¢ 361 and Karim Yahaya GH¢42,” he told the court.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO