Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 25 January 2014
A Nigerian who is alleged to be one of the criminals in the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) fraudulent money transfer has been arrested and remanded in police custody by the Accra Circuit Court.
Tony Abogo, a businessman, is said to have fraudulently transferred GH¢250,000 from the vault of the GCB into the account of his girlfriend at the bank (GCB) and asked the girl to withdraw part of the money.
He was charged with conspiracy to steal and stealing.
He pleaded not guilty when he appeared before the court yesterday and is to reappear before the court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, on February 5, 2014.
Presenting the facts of the case, the Prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) A. Dery, said the complainant was the branch manager at the Ghana Commercial Bank Spintex Road, Accra while the accused was a Nigerian living at Lashibi near Tema.
He said somewhere in December, 2013 the accused fraudulently transferred cash in the sum of GH¢250,000 into his girlfriend's account at the bank.
He said on December 24, 2013 the accused asked the girlfriend to go to the bank (GCB) to withdraw GH¢2,000.
DSP Derry said the girl was arrested at the bank when the officials realised that the transfer was fraudulent.
He said the girlfriend then mentioned the name of Tony Abogo as the one who transferred the money into her account.
The girlfriend then lured Tony, who had since been in hiding, to Lashibi Shell Filling Station where he was also arrested.
The accused person mentioned someone only as Wale, alias FBI, as the person who gave him the account details at the bank.
The GCB has been faced with fraudulent wiring of huge sums of money from its vault into private accounts in recent times.
About two weeks ago, a national service person who was alleged to be involved in the fraudulent wiring of huge sums of money from the GCB’s vault into some private accounts was arrested.
It is neither yet clear how much money the syndicate succeeded in siphoning from the bank’s vault, nor for how long the crime went on, before the fraud was detected.
The operation was allegedly coordinated with the connivance of the bank’s IT department.
It has led to the freezing of five accounts belonging to two individuals and two different companies by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO).
The account bearers include Mr Akato Haizel (two separate accounts), Matilda Dankwa Adjoa, B J Net Company Ltd and Osuaka Ventures.
A letter signed by the Executive Director of EOCO, dated December 27, 2013 and sent to the Managing Director of GCB at the Bank’s Head Office in Accra and copied to the Head of Banking Supervision at the Central Bank, ordered the immediate freezing of the five accounts.
The letter said: “Please take notice that pursuant to the authority conferred on the Executive Director by section 33 of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office Act 2010 (act 804), the Executive Director of EOCO has directed the freezing of the bank account of [Akato Haizel, Matilda Dankwa Adjoa, B J Net Company ltd and Osuaka Ventures] with your branches pending investigations into various crimes.”
“This order takes immediate effect. Until this order is revoked or elapsed, your bank shall not allow any transactions on the account without the written authority of the Executive Director.”