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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 28 August 2021

Source: GNA

Head of IT of Savings and Loans Company jailed for siphoning GH¢1.2million

The 36-year-old was found guilty on charges of stealing, forgery, possession of forged documents The 36-year-old was found guilty on charges of stealing, forgery, possession of forged documents

An Information Technology Expert, Annybert Affum Larbi, who used electronic means to siphon more than GH¢1.2million, belonging to defunct Global Access Savings and Loans Limited has been sentenced to one-year imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court.

The court presided over by Mrs Priscilla Dapaah Mireku found Larbi, aged 36, guilty on the charges of stealing, forgery, possession of forged documents and money laundering.

The court, however, discharged him on charges of two counts of offences in relation to records and information contrary to Section 18 of the Anti-money laundering Amendment Act.

It, however, ordered Larbi to refund the money he siphoned to his former employer.

Larbi, in his defence before the court, indicated that he invested some of the money, bought a car and lands in some parts of Accra.

Prosecution in all called four witnesses to make their case while Larbi called one witness.

Delivering its verdict, the court said it took into consideration the age of the convict and the fact that he was a first offender.

However, the court said it was saddened by the intelligence he used to commit the crime, adding that if the company had not detected the crime he would have gotten away with it.

It, therefore, turned down the invitation of Larbi’s counsel to hand down a non-custodial sentence.

The court said it wanted Larbi to use his expertise to assist others in prison.

Defence Counsel, Mr Andy K. Vortia in his plea for mitigation, urged the court to take into consideration the age of his client and the fact that he has a wife and two kids.

According to Mr Vortia, Larbi had also taken steps to refund GH¢1million, which he invested, saying, a letter was written to the Bank of Ghana to refund the money to his former company.

Counsel said his client had shown remorse, cooperated with the Police and respected the court over the years.

Prosecuting Chief Inspector Dennis Terkpetey said Larbi, in the year 2012, was the head of IT at Global Access Savings and Loans Limited, now defunct.

According to Chief Inspector Terkpetey, Larbi was also made Head of Internet banking of the same company.

The prosecution said Larbi used his position to open e-zwich accounts with various names, including the names of one Junior Tetteh and Alfred Dankwah alleged to be customers of the bank.

The prosecution said Larbi managed to transfer funds from Global Access Savings and Loans reserves into the accounts he had opened and managed to withdraw GH¢1,291,391.

He was apprehended with the use of several fingerprints of the E-zwich cards used.

The offence was also detected after Larbi resigned and another person took over from him in the year 2016.

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