Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) John Kweku Lodonu, from the CID Headquarters, has given his evidence in the case involving Eric Amoateng, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, over a forged passport.
The witness is the fourth prosecution witness presented by the state before the court, presided over by Madam Helen Amoah.
He told the court that on August 5, Amoateng was referred by the commissioner of the CID to him in a case of alleged forgery.
He said intelligence received from the BNI indicated that Amoateng’s passport was forged, so he started a background check to investigate the said passport.
The witness said on August 7, a report was received from the CID Headquarters that Amoateng had arrived at the Airport and had presented the said passport suspected to be forged.
ASP Lodonu said upon interrogation, Amoateng admitted that the said passport was acquired by him when he was serving a prison term in the United States of America.
During investigation, ASP Lodonu said it was revealed that the said passport was issued to one Barbara Inkum, who had applied for it with the help of an officer from the Ghana Immigration Service.
He said when the passport was issued it did not get to Barbara, and it was not clear how it got into the possession of Amoateng.
According to the witness, during investigations, Amoateng also mentioned that one Mohammed, with whom he was serving the prison term in the USA, was the one who assisted him in acquiring the passport, after he (Amoateng) had himself downloaded a passport form from the internet, filled it with his particulars and added his photographs.
He said his investigations revealed that such passport forms were not available on the internet, and that the passport form which led to the issuance of the said passport was that of Barbara and not Amoateng.
He told the court that investigations at the Document Fraud Office of the Ghana Immigration Service revealed that the document was forged on the bio-data page so he proceeded to charge the accused person with the offence after which he took a charge and caution statement from the accused.
During cross examination, the counsel for the accused person, Charles Pouzuing, asked whether he found out who assisted Barbara in acquiring the passport, and he said yes.
He said the name of the immigration officer who assisted Barbara in getting the passport was an ASP of the Ghana Immigration Service called Frank Anane.
When asked whether he was told by Barbara that she never received the passport from the officer, he answered in the affirmative that he was told and that it was also confirmed to him by the officer.
He said it was true that the passport was in the custody of the GIS, Passport Division, and that according to ASP Anane, when the passport was issued, he called Barbara’s mother to come for it and it was there that he lost contact with them.
When asked whether his investigation revealed the one who picked the passport, in the official records of the GIS, he said at the time of his investigations, there was no official record of the passport at the office of the GIS, and that he obtained it from the BNI who had earlier picked it.
Amoateng is alleged to have travelled to Ghana with a female Ghanaian Passport number H2347080 after serving his conviction abroad.
The accused person pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢ 200,000.00.
The case of the state was that in December 2005, the accused went to the United States. In the same month, he was arrested for possessing heroin, a narcotic drug.
Amoateng served his sentence and on July 30 he was released from prison.
DSP Dery said on August 7 the accused arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on board a Delta Airline at 1420 hours.
Going through arrival formalities it was detected that he had in his possession a Ghanaian Passport number H2347080, which was allegedly forged, with the bio-data page substituted.
The case was adjourned to November 28.