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Crime & Punishment of Monday, 17 February 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Man in court for operating bank without license

The Accra Circuit Court has remanded the Chief Executive of Capital Assurance Company Limited, Foster Kpordzih, for operating a bank without a permit from the Bank of Ghana (BoG), as required by law.

Kpordzih has also been charged with defrauding the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Digitech Construction, Prince Darron Obasa, of Ghc200,000 under false pretence, as well as issuing a false cheque.’

The accused person issued a false cheque for Ghc15,956.16 to the complainant, Mr Obasa, as interest payment for an investment in the bank’s operations.

He pleaded not guilty to all the three counts. He is to reappear on February 26, 2014

The court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, heard that the complainant was introduced to the accused person by a friend who is a witness in the case.

The Prosecuting Officer, Mr Cletus Abadamlora, said the complainant met the accused at the Holiday Inn hotel in Accra and expressed interest in ­investing in the “bank’. The accused assured him that his money would be safe.

After the meeting, the complainant issued a cheque for Ghc200,000 to the witness, to be given to the accused.

The accused, after receiving the money, delivered a borrowing certificate under the terms of agreement that the investment would mature in 91 days at an interest rate of 32 per cent per annum.

On maturity, the total principal sum plus interest would amount to Ghc215,956.16. Upon maturity of the investment, the witness informed the complainant not to liquidate the investment but roll over the investment for another six months.

The complainant then requested for the accrued interest of Ghc5,956.16 and the accused issued a cheque which was dishonoured on the grounds that the accused had no funds in his account.

Mr Abadamlora said the complainant, on realising that the cheque had been dishonoured, asked for a refund of the investment fund, but the accused could not refund the money and went into hiding.

The complainant, therefore, reported the case to the police, who found out that the accused was operating the banking business without a permit from the BoG.

Counsel for the accused protested that his client was not operating a bank but an investment management company.

He pleaded for bail for the accused stating “we are prepared to assist the court in any way that we can”.

He confirmed, the complainant agreed to invest in the company but shortly after that, the company experienced financial challenges.

Since the case was reported to the police, he said, an initial payment of Ghc10,000 out of the total amount had been made to the complainant through the police.

Mr Abadamlora protested against granting the accused bail, with the explanation that the accused was arrested in August 2013, but jumped police bail and was arrested at his hideout in Hohoe in the Volta Region.

To that, counsel told the court that his client had not jumped bail and that he had been undergoing treatment in Ho when he was arrested.

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