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Crime & Punishment of Monday, 23 August 2021

Source: GNA

Road contractor granted GHC200,000 bail over gold fraud

The suspect has denied the offense and is yet to make his next appearance on September 9, 2021 The suspect has denied the offense and is yet to make his next appearance on September 9, 2021

An Accra Circuit Court has granted a GHC200,000.00 bail with four sureties to a road contractor for allegedly defrauding a businessman under the pretext of giving him a gold mine concession.

The Court presided over by Madam Evelyn Asamoah ordered that two out of the sureties should be Public servants earning not less than GHS2,000.00.

The contractor, Prince John Baidoo, 68, has since denied the offense and is expected to make his next appearance on September 9, 2021.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fuseini Yakubu on the other hand has pleaded with the Court to remand the suspect adding that he was arraigned before court on October 19, 2020, but failed to appear although his counsel had been present.

He said a bench warrant was issued by the Court to that effect and a forfeiture was served on his sureties leading to his arrest on August 17, 2021 after failed attempts.

A lawyer who held brief for Baidoo’s lawyer, Mr Bright Akwaitey, said upon the accused person’s arrest, GHS10,000.00 was paid to show his commitment to refund the money.

According to the lawyer, the court was prayed that Baidoo should not be remanded due to his bad health condition, age, and COVID-19 status.

The lawyer said the challenges for not coming to court would be proved in the course of trial and the accused would then be available for court.

ASP Yakubu said Mr. Abdulai Issaka Pangasur, the complainant, was the Managing Director of Cadmus Mining Limited whilst Baidoo lived at Weija.

In May 2019, complainant was in need of a gold mining concession and he was introduced to the accused person by one Asiamah and he took the complainant to the accused’s office at the Airport Residential Area.

He said in a meeting, the accused introduced himself as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Divine Timing Limited and also presented maps to the gold mining concession in the name of Divine Timing Limited, afterwards, the two signed an agreement for the accused to release 10 Kilometers Square of the concession to complainant.

Prosecution said the accused demanded 200,000 USD for the 10 Kilometers square and asked complainant to make a down payment of 50,000 USD and after receiving the 50,000 USD as well GHS10,000, Baidoo arranged with the complainant's geologist to visit the Concession.

On May 13, 2019, the complainant's geologist visited the mining concession at Anyinabrem where he met one Mr Mintah, the caretaker of the concession, who said one Mr Nkansah was the owner and he was not aware of anyone’s coming thus, he refused to allow the geologist to work on the said concession.

ASP Yakubu said armed with this information, the complainant called Mr Nkansah who told him he was rather the CEO of Divine Timing Limited as well as the concession and not the accused person. He explained that he did not also authorize the accused to conduct any business on his behalf.

Complainant, the Court heard, then petitioned the Police for the investigation leading to Baidoo’s arrest. He admitted the offence.

Mr Nkansah when also invited told the Police that in May 2019, the accused and one Peter Chang informed him that the accused and his German wife whose father is a millionaire wanted to invest in gold mining in Ghana thus, needed a concession.

That they negotiated for the concession where the accused paid him 20,000 USD as entrance fee which was non-refundable stating that, throughout the period, the accused person never mentioned the complainant to him, neither was he aware of the agreement between the complainant and the accused person, prosecution said.

ASP Yakubu said after the investigations, Baidoo was charged and put before the court.