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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 30 October 2014

Source: Daily Guide Network

Bank Manager jailed for Ghc4m fraud

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A former Accountant of J Adom Limited, a construction company in Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo Region and the Manager of the Sunyani branch of Zenith Bank have been jailed by a Sunyani high court for stealing and money laundering involving GH¢4,582,130 belonging to the construction company.

The suspects are John Cobbina, 32, the Accountant, and Eugene Amoako, 38, the Branch Manager of the bank.

The money, according to police reports, were paid by clients into the company’s account at the bank, but Cobbina, with the assistance of Eugene, diverted the money into his (Cobbina’s) account without the knowledge of the company’s management.

The two were sentenced to 25 and 15 years’ imprisonment respectively when they appeared before the court, presided over by Justice Larweh Buertey, last Tuesday.

Confirming the story to DAILY GUIDE, COP Prosper Kwame Agblor, Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, said that was one of the major breakthroughs the police had chalked in recent times.

Police said in 2012, they received a complaint from the Chief Executive Officer of J Adom Construction Company that the company had recorded some losses in its accounts. After a private auditor was employed to check the company’s accounts, part of the report was handed over to the police for investigations.

Police investigations led to the arrest of John Cobbina, the company’s Accountant, and Eugene Amoako, the Branch Manager of the bank, to assist in investigations.

During police investigations, it was discovered that John Cobbina had used the money they dubiously diverted into his account to acquire various properties at Techiman and Sunyani.

Some of the properties acquired included 10 buildings—seven in Sunyani and three in Techiman.

Out of the 10 houses, three of them are located at Hansua, Techiman, and two also at Berlin Top, Sunyani, fully furnished.

Cobbina also used some of the money to purchase a Mercedes Benz with registration number GW 2282 W, a Hyundai Santa Fe with registration number AS 1642-12, and an unregistered Toyota Matrix Saloon car.

The suspect also acquired a cosmetics shop and an artificial hair shop for his wife, together with a hardware shop – both at Fiapre, Sunyani.

Cobbina, investigations revealed, established a company registered in his name as Cobbivert Ghana, which deals in civil engineering, import and export; undertakes road construction and general merchandise, trading and distribution – just to divert the attention of his employers.

Upon the advice of the Attorney General, the two were charged with the offence of money laundering and stealing conspiracy, among others, before the high court.

The properties acquired by Cobbina were ordered by the court to be auctioned to defray the amount stolen from his former company.

COP Agblor commended the Sunyani Regional Commander and his team for the thorough investigations conducted into the case.

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