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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.

“Fools phone”

By: Stephen A.Quaye.

The rate at which young boys and girls are swindling or better still defrauding people in Ghana these days is so serious.

Not a single day passes by without the media reporting about fraud or stealing involving young boys and girls in Ghana now.

The severity of the crime rate is making all to ask whether we are safe because you do not know when and how you will fall victim to these “SAKAWA” boys and girls.

Surprised a Ghanaian boy born in Canada was able to swindle some one to buy a phone which later turns out to be rice?

No you shouldn’t be surprised but rather be worried that for the mere fact that the canker has now been extended to overseas indicate the magnitude of the crime involving our youth ones now.

Let me present to you a story of a crime which took place in Accra recently whiles I was on my short visit.

Late January through to the middle of February when I was in Ghana the weather was very hot and dry with a fog nature which made it very difficult to see from two hundred meters away.

So as usual hot and sunny afternoon with my water jug in hand I set off to visit Kwame Nkrumah Circle to have a feel of the changing phase of the area.

With the temperature rising steadily making me to gulp down more water, it got finished on my way so I got down near Circle Post Office and refilled my jug.

Opposite the post office, I stood in front of a kiosk to buy my water when suddenly I heard a loud shout of “hoo dzulo ooo, hoodzulu oo” to wit thief, thief.

Before finding out what was happening, I tapped my back pocket to see whether my few Canadian dollars stashed in my wallet was still intact.

Hey you might not know who may be trying to dip his hand wrongfully in your pocket to pick whatever few currency notes there and run away eh?

Realizing I was safe I tried to find out what happened only to note that a young guy was tricked to buy a fake phone and coming back for his money shouted so the fraudster took to his heels.

The victim has come from far and decided to buy that latest phone as it was showed case to him. Not knowing a piece of key soap was shaped into a phone device and neatly put in phone case.

He did not open it to see first time he bought it because he was told not to until he got home.

Just like the man who went to GNTC to buy a Bunzanga bicycle and carried it on his head till he got home before riding it.

He humbly carried the obvious material in its case until he got home only to open it and discover that he has been swindled to buy a “fools phone”.

How can a young boy or girl take hundred Ghana cedis from his or her pocket and book a computer at an internet café to browse the websites for the whole night?

It seems the owners of various internet cafes are not helping the security agencies in identifying criminals such as fraudsters, swindlers and more who uses computers in their cafes to commit crimes.

Let me repeat here that the rate at which the country’s youth are involving themselves in various crimes is so serious that it calls on the security agencies to get their butts up before everyone falls victim.

For what reason should a young boy or girl of between the ages of 20 to 36 years instead of learning a trade or finding a job decide to swindle or defraud people?

It is very difficult for me to find answers to because there is no good reward in doing so.

But one can challenge that for the mere fact that these unscrupulous guys are getting themselves into various crimes everyday points to the fact that life is hard.

In the evening, one will be surprise to see the plush cars these young but unemployed guys drive in through town.

Go to some selected bar and grills at night and you will be shocked o see these fanciful dressed guys and almost nude girls sitting around tables filled with bottles of alcohol making one to ask where they got the money from?

How they manage to send junk mails to people pretending to be victims of rape, armed robbery attacks, accidents, various human attacks and pleading for fiscal assistance will win your sympathy to send them hundreds of dollars.

Only to double check later to find out that you have been swindled or tricked or defrauded by an unidentified boy or girl who is criminal else where.

By the way, congratulations to the Ashiaman pastor who helped the police to run up those fraudsters who approached him to assist his church grow in a fraudulent way.

Let us all tell the police service to start working something out with the owners of internet cafes on how to quickly identify and arrest suspected fraudsters who comes to use their facility in attempts to defraud innocent persons to serve as deterrent to others.

Someone was tricked to buy a phone which turned out to be rice, another person was tricked to buy a phone which turned out to be a piece of key soap the next person may be tricked to a buy a sound system which may turned out to be a box full of cotton or what.

Who knows may be next victim may be you or me therefore we need to raise concern for the security agencies to start working on it before it everyone gets defrauded.

Today is fools phone. Tomorrow may be fools car or fools shoe. Police officers get your butts up.