Nigerian granted bail over alleged $18m gold fraud

The Accra Circuit Court granted GH¢5 million bail with two sureties, one to be justified with landed property, to an assayer, accused of fraud in 300 kg of gold worth $18 million transaction.

Yusuf Mohammed Crufy, charged with defrauding by false pretences, pleaded not guilty, and is expected to reappear in court on March 13.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Seth Frimpong, told the court that accused was asked to perform chemical test on 300 kg of gold worth $18 million and supervised the ship­ment of the mineral to Dubai, but failed to carry out his duty.

The prosecution told the court that the complainant, Samuel Opoku Frimpong, was a Ghanaian businessman, resident in Dubai, and accused, a Nigerian.

ASP Frimpong said in May 2021, the complainant was introduced to accused by Billy Bonsu, a business partner.

He said the complainant had an agreement with accused to supervise 300 kg of gold worth $18 million, belonging to him, to be exported from Guinea to Dubai after it had been assayed.

The court heard that Crufy claimed he could not export the gold due to the Military Coup de tat that took place in Guinea at the time.

ASP Frimpong told the court that Crufy claimed he was in possession of the gold because of his role as an assayer, super­visor, and that money was sent to him for full documentation and exportation of gold belong­ing to complainant.

According to the prosecution, accused also claimed in the same period, Mali also experienced a military take over and there was no direct flight to Dubai.

ASP Frimpong said accused had demanded and collected six per cent of the total value of the gold to transport same to Burkina Faso.

The prosecution said on July 31, 2022, accused gave the complainant a tracking number for the exportation of the gold and he detected that the con­signment was in Lome, Togo, pending the authentication of the export documents.

ASP Frimpong said the complainant, suspecting that he had been defrauded, contacted accused, who could not give any reasonable excuse.

The court heard that in Oc­tober 2022, accused called the complainant and informed him that he had brought 300kg gold to Accra after he demanded and collected $150,000 to pay for ECOWAS Circulation Certifi­cate.

ASP Frimpong said accused claimed he finally deposited the gold at a security storage facility for safe keeping, which attracted a daily storage charge of $3,600 for six boxes containing 300kg of gold.

The prosecution said the complainant paid $35,000 to accused for safe keeping.

On October 20, 2022, the prosecution said complainant came to Ghana for the 300kg of gold to be exported to Dubai.

ASP Frimpong said com­plainant did not meet accused, who directed him (complainant) to meet one Nana, at Abeka Junction, Accra, who took him (complainant) to a security com­pany behind a bank.

The prosecution told the court that Nana showed him (complainant) a box containing metals, he claimed to be gold and that the remaining boxes would be made available the following week.

ASP Frimpong said accused failed to provide the rest of the boxes of gold and refused to answer the complainant’s phone calls. —GNA

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