Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 15 November 2012
Joseph Obeng, a mechanic and Dennis Oduro, an actor, on Wednesday appeared before Takoradi Circuit Court “B” for allegedly conspiring to commit crime and 28 counts of defrauding by false pretences.
Obeng pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime while Oduro pleaded guilty to the charge.
They both pleaded not guilty to all the 28 counts of defrauding by false pretences.
The Court granted Obeng bail in the sum of GH¢5,000 with two sureties and Oduro was remanded.
They are to re-appear on November 19 this year.
Jointly charged with them was Anthony Obo, self-styled businessman, who is at large.
Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Felix Danku said in January last year, Oduro told Obeng that he is a nephew of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and asked him to recruit interested persons who wanted to travel abroad to work at military hospitals in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) on a three-year contract. Oduro said his parents, a medical officer and a nurse reside in America.
The prosecutor said Oduro noted that air tickets would be provided by his parents and on their arrival in the United Kingdom and the United States, the interested persons would work to pay his parents GH¢82,000 each over a period of three years.
Chief Inspector Danku said in February this year, Obeng informed the Chairman and Secretary of the Deep Seafarers Association about the trip abroad.
He said eleven interested members and 15 non-members of the Association were recruited by Obeng and each paid an amount of GH¢300 for processing of passport and visa.
Chief Inspector Danku said Oduro was informed of the recruitment and the money collected and he asked Obeng to pay GH¢3,800 of the total amount of GH¢7,700 collected into the Opportunity International Bank Saving account of Anthony Obo and give the rest to a Tarkwa bound car to be sent to him at Tarkwa.
He said Obeng followed the instructions of Oduro, who acknowledged receipt of the money.
Chief Inspector Danku said later Obeng took the people to Accra to meet Oduro and Obo but they could not meet them on arrival.
He said the people waited all evening and as they have no place to pass the night, they were compelled to sleep on benches at the Metro Mass Transport terminal at Tema Station.
Chief Inspector Danku said the people returned to Takoradi and made a report to the Police.
He said when Obeng was arrested he mentioned Oduro and Obo as those who asked him to make the recruitment for them.
Chief Inspector Danku said while the Police were looking for Oduro and Obo, on October 15 this year, Oduro went to Kwesimintsim and collected an amount of GH¢1,000 from John Ewuakye and GH¢900 from Simon Abillah Opoku to help them to travel to the UK to work in a military hospital.
He said Oduro took them to Accra to process documents for the trip but Ewuakye reported him to the Military Police and he was arrested and detained.
Chief Inspector Danku said Oduro was handed over to the Takoradi Police for investigations.
He said a search was conducted in his room at Old Daboase Junction and photographs, particulars of the accused, three Ghanaian passports, birth certificates, rubber stamps of St. Ernest Dickson Travel and Tours were found.
Chief Inspector Danku said on interrogation, Oduro denied asking Obeng to recruit people to work in the UK and the USA.
He said after further investigations, Obeng and Oduro were charged but Obo is still on the run.