Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 3 January 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
The Kumasi Police have arrested an 18-year-old man who has allegedly specialised in dispossessing newly wedded couples of their cash and other valuables during wedding ceremonies.
The suspect, who gave his name as Nana Sakyi Essel and claimed to be an interior decorator, was arrested last Sunday during a wedding ceremony at the North Suntreso Anglican Church in Kumasi.
He was dressed in a grey suit and was in the process of presenting himself to the family members of the bride as one of the groom's cousins in charge of the gifts to be donated to the couple when a victim of one of his escapades raised an alarm, leading to his arrest.
The victim, who spotted Essel, identified him as the same person who had robbed him of some cash, cheques and other valuables during his (victim's) wedding at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in Kumasi a few months ago.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the District Police Commander at the Sofoline Police Station, Superintendent of Police Mr Cosmos A. Damoah, said in August last year, one Francis Asiedu lodged a complaint with the police that he had been dispossessed of his gifts during a wedding ceremony at the CNC in Kumasi.
He said Asiedu had told the police that in the course of the wedding, the suspect, who was dressed in a grey suit, had introduced himself as a family member of the bride in charge of the gifts.
He said prior to that, the suspect had supported the family to organise the wedding programme in various ways and had, therefore, won their confidence as a trusted personality.
Mr Damoah said before the presentation of the gifts, the suspect had distributed a number of envelopes, collected those presented by friends and guests who attended the ceremony and placed them in a plastic bag.
He said it was during refreshment, when the couple were busily attending to their guests, that the suspect collected the gifts which were in the custody of the maid, with the explanation that he had been tasked to take care of them.
Mr Damoah said the suspect vanished from the venue as soon as he took the gifts and was never seen until his arrest last Sunday.
In his caution statement to the police, the suspect said he had relocated from Adabraka in Accra to Kumasi eight months ago.
He said it was some friends who had introduced him to that fraudulent act and confessed that so far he had been able to steal about GH¢6,500.00 at wedding ceremonies.