Crime & Punishment of Sunday, 2 September 2007
Agona Swedru, Sept 2, GNA - A team of officials from the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra have arrested three people at Agona Swedru for allegedly defrauding the Mother Care and Welfare Orphanage at Kwansakrom near Agona Swedru through the Internet.
They are Frank Eyiah and Joshua Manful, both businessmen and Mrs Gertrude Nketiah-Amoako, a teacher.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) C. K. Anyan, leader of the team, speaking to newsmen at Agona Swedru, said about eight months ago, Eyiah went to the Mother of the Orphanage, Mrs Joyce Obeng Mbir, to inform her of his intention to offer financial support for the upkeep of the inmates.
According to ASP Anyan, the Mother with a free mind gave a photocopy of the registration certificate other documents of the Orphanage from the Department of Social Welfare to the suspect. The CID Officer said the three suspects allegedly changed the mobile phone and post office letter box numbers of the Orphanage and secretly opened a website soliciting funds from foreign donors and philanthropists to cater for the orphans.
He said the three suspects also opened an account at the High Street branch of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) in Accra where hundreds of thousands of dollars were lodged in. ASP Anyan said they gave themselves high positions indicating that they established the Orphanage with Mrs Mbiri as an ordinary worker who run errands.
He stated that efforts were being made to obtain a court order for the Police to freeze the accounts.
ASP Anyan told newsmen that a son of Mrs Mbir saw his mother's picture on the Internet in USA carrying two babies with doubtful information about the Orphanage and rang to inform her about it and she also reported the matter to the CID headquarters in Accra. He said the three suspects had been granted Police enquiry bail while investigations were continuing.
Meanwhile, Mrs Mbir has appealed to the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Interior to intervene to freeze the account and close down the website.
She told GNA that there were 70 inmates some as young as two weeks at the Orphanage now and that she went through difficulties caring for them.
According to her the Orphanage did not a means of transport and permanent structures to house the children while she paid hundreds of thousands of cedis as rent.
She noted that the amount in the account could be used for the rent and feeding of the children and pointed out that under the Social Welfare Law no one should be allowed to use photocopies to open a bank account and wondered how they managed to have one opened for the suspects. 02 Sept 07