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Crime & Punishment of Sunday, 27 July 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Two women arrested for accommodation fraud

A young couple desperate for accommodation has fallen victim to the tricks of two women who conned them to part with a rental deposit fee of GH¢5,000. The victims, whose names have been withheld, said they were convinced to pay the deposit to avoid losing a flat they wanted to rent at Kwashieman in Accra to other prospective tenants.

The rent seekers said they paid the money to Ms Rebecca Acquaye, 73, who acted as an agent and Ms Esther Sackey, 54, who posed as a landlady, after they had inspected the flat. After receiving the money, Esther suddenly feigned sickness.

The couple, with the help of Rebecca, sent Esther, who pretended to be convulsing, to a nearby hospital for treatment, where she was immediately offered a bed while Rebecca stood by her.

Thereafter, the victims started the process of getting a doctor to attend to Esther and within a short while, a doctor and some nurses proceeded to her bedside, but Esther and Rebecca were nowhere to be found.

The prospective tenants, therefore, returned to the flats to inform the other tenants of what had happened only to be told that Esther was not the landlady but had been granted permission to use an enclosure in the building temporarily upon her (Esther) request.

The victims made a report to the Odorkor Police and Esther was arrested on July 21, 2014at her hideout upon a tip-off. The Odorkor District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police, Mr Abraham Acquaye, said during interrogation, she claimed that the 73-year-old woman was her accomplice and played the role of looking for prospective tenants.

Esther then led the police to arrest Rebecca, who denied knowing Esther and even assaulted her. The Police Commander said the two had been charged with defrauding by false pretences and would be put before court in due course.

He advised people in need of accommodation to patronise the services of credible agencies to avoid being defrauded.

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