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Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 30 June 2018


Electrical engineer in court over fraud

An electric engineer, who allegedly defrauded twelve persons in two separate instances to the tune of GH¢72,080.00 under the pretext of securing them accommodation was on Friday granted bail of GH¢80,000.00 with seven sureties.

John Christian Mensah, 48, who sometimes goes by the names: Stanley Laryea or John Laryea was granted a GH¢50,000.00 bail with five sureties, two of whom were to be public servants in one instance and the other GH¢30,000.00 bail sum with two sureties who must also be public servants.

All the four sureties who must be public servants and should be earning not less than GH¢1,000.00 per month.

Mensah is also standing trial for issuing a false cheque.

His counsel had pleaded with the Court presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh that his client had a contract with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and had to be released to enable him to get money to settle the debts.

He however pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime, defrauding by false pretence and the issuing of the false cheque.

Mensah will make his next appearance on July 16.

One Reverend Michael Lord Klu, his accomplice is at large.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Man-Anit Sampana told the Court that Madam Comfort Addey, 61, is a trader and resident of Community 20 whilst the accused lived at Adjei Kojo a suburb in Accra.

He said on June 2016, Mensah approached the complainant, who owns a four-bedroom house at Community 19, Accra, and pleaded with her to rent it out to him and his family as they had been thrown out of their former residence.

He said out of sympathy the complainant handed over the keys to her house to Mensah who in turn issued a post-dated cheque of GH¢40,800.00 to be cashed on July 25, 2016.

On August 5, same year, the cheque was presented to the bank but it was dishonoured and all efforts to get the accused proved futile.

DSP explained that Mensah later partitioned the house and posing as the landlord, started renting out the rooms as single rooms or single room self-contained to unsuspecting persons.

He managed to secure various sums of monies between GH¢3,000.00 and GH¢20,000.00 from the twelve prosecution witnesses, he said.

The prosecution said after some months, the woman approached the tenants and asked them to vacate the house as she had not mandated anyone to rent it out.

A formal report was made to the Community 18 Police, which led to his arrest.

In January 2018, during the first case, Mensah and Klu, who posed as the Director and Deputy Director, respectively of the Power of Lake Engineering Company Limited, approached Ernestina Akrofi, Cephas Konadu and Esther Odai to rent their property at North Legon to them.

He disclosed that both of them after securing the keys to their house, changed the locks and started renting the rooms out to people including Nana Asaah Anyam, a marketer without the owners’ knowledge.

When the owners visited the house and found the tenants among whom were Mensah and Klu they threatened to eject them.

DSP Sampana said on March 6, a complaint was made to the police and the two were arrested.

In the course of investigations, it was revealed that Mensah and Klu took GH¢20,000.00 from Anyam alone, however Klu later jumped bail granted police enquiry bail.