21-year-old unemployed young man who allegedly stole GH¢ 38,400 from the Ecobank Mobile Application account of one Richmond Gyawu has been sentenced by an Accra Circuit Court.
Mr Nathaniel Kponyo was said to have used part of the stolen money to purchase a Toyota Corolla saloon car and a plot of land at Juapong in the Volta Region.
He was charged with 13 counts of stealing, pleaded guilty at his first appearance in court.
The court, presided over by Mrs Susana Eduful, convicted him on his own plea and sentenced him to two weeks’ imprisonment and to a fine of 1000 penalty units at GH¢12 per unit, making a total of GH¢ 12,000.
The court added that in default of payment of the fine, Kponyo would serve a four-year imprisonment with hard labour.
Police Chief Inspector Isaac Anquandah, prosecuting, told the court that the complainant, Mr Richard Nartey, represented the management of Ecobank Ghana, while the convict was a resident of Assin Akonfide in the Central Region.
The prosecutor said on July 26, 2022, Ecobank Ghana reported to the police that they had received some complaints from their customers about some unauthorised transactions on their accounts leading to the loss of over GH¢ 1,000,000, adding that the monies were transferred in bits from the various customers’ accounts via the Ecobank Mobile Application into different mobile money wallets.
He said police investigations found that Kponyo contacted some of the customers and posed as an Ecobank worker and convinced them into sharing their One-Time-Pin (OPT) and or Mobile Application Pin.
The prosecutor said Kponyo assured his victims that he would help the customers to gain unhindered access into their bank accounts via the Ecobank Money Application and transfer their monies into different mobile money wallets.
The prosecutor said on September 23, 2022, one of the victims, Richmond Gyawu, made a complaint to the police following the transfers of a total of GH¢38, 400 from his Ecobank account into eight Vodafone mobile money wallets without his authorisation.
He said police investigations on the mobile money wallets that received the stolen monies led to the arrest of a mobile money merchant at Assin Fosu, where the stolen monies were cashed out.
Further investigations revealed that Kponyo was the one who had cashed out the stolen money.
The prosecutor said he was subsequently arrested at Juapong and he admitted the offence and mentioned names of his accomplices.
The prosecutor said Kponyo said his accomplices were the ones who procured the pre-registered SIM cards used to facilitate the fraud.