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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Source: Daily Guide

P.V. Obeng's impostor dupes more people

The Ghana Police Service Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has been receiving more complaints from organizations and individuals, who claimed to have fallen victims to an imposter who posed as a presidential staffer, using the names Paul Victor Obeng, Henry Martey Newman and Alex K. Segbefia.

Among the victims whose names have been withheld for security reasons included that of renowned manufacturing companies in the country.

Fred Kpoha, alias Captain Kpoha was arrested by the CID after he was caught with separate letters which had been signed by him.

However, after the story was published in the newspaper, more victims have come forward with proofs including letters requesting for financial support from the Office of the President’s letterhead and the National Basket Ball Association’s letterhead and payment vouchers.

Some of the documents spotted by DAILY GUIDE at the CID headquarters were letters dated June 11, 2012, July 6, 2012 and July 13, 2012 in which the suspect wrote to companies in Accra demanding GH¢8000 and 600 pieces of mattresses to support orphanages at Worawora or Kpando in the Volta Region to enable one of the inmates with a hole-in -heart to receive medical treatment in South Africa.

Vouchers with amounts GH¢10,000, GH¢2,100 and GH¢11,000 have been received by the suspects. Commissioner of Police (COP) Prosper Kwame Agblor, Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service told DAILY GUIDE that the suspect besides impersonating the presidential staffers also claimed to be a basket ball trainer, had also been using the National Basket Ball Association’s letter head to solicit for funds.

“It appears that is his trade. He has been in the habit of using the name of the government and the National Basketball Association to get money from companies,” he said.

The suspect, in one of the letters on a forged letter head captioned “Office of the President” and purported to have been signed by P.V. Obeng, noted he needed the money to cater for the medical treatment of a hole-in-heart patient at the Kpando Orphanage Home.

In the letter it was alleged that the Kpando orphanage was managed by the late President John Evans Atta Mills, “but after his demise they have become financially constraint and needed the said amount to enable them to seek medical care for an inmate.”

According to the CID boss, the suspect mentioned PV Obeng as the Chairman of the Council of State and stated the phone number 0244053503 as the contact number of Mr Obeng.

“This raised suspicion since PV Obeng is not even a member of the Council of State,” the police chief said.

After the letter was received by the management of the company on April 22, 2013, the suspect followed up four days later at about 4:45pm on the content.

The company therefore invited him over and gave him a sum of GH¢5000 and 20 pieces branded T-shirts of the company, but as he walked out of the premises of the company the Police arrested him.

“A search was conducted and six copies of the forged letterheads were found on him”, said the CID Director General.

It was identified that four of the letterheads had the names of Mr Alex K. Segbefia and Mr Henry Martey Newman who were mentioned as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief of Staff respectively.

In a cautioned statement, the suspect admitted the offence and stated that a copy of the letter was given to him by one Francis Opoku whom he claimed to be working with at the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) headquarters.

However, enquiries at the Party headquarters could not trace the existence of the said accomplice.

The suspect had since been charged with forgery of document contrary to section 159 of Act 29 (60).

COP Agblor used the opportunity to warn the public especially managers of foreign companies to be on the lookout for such demands from individuals.

It is suspected many more people might have fallen victims to the scam and the CID officials are urging such people to report to the police.