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Two gold fraudsters jailed for duping Canadian

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PrisonTwo persons were on Monday sentenced to five years imprisonment each for defrauding a Canadian of 110, 250 dollars under the pretext of supplying him with gold.

Prince Tease, a businessman, and Paul Kofi Mensah, a driver, were found guilty on the charges of conspiracy to defraud, defrauding by false pretences and forgery at the end of a six month trial.

The court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh ordered the two to refund 70,000 dollars in addition to the 40,000 dollars they had earlier on refunded to the complainant.

The court said the country needed to protect its image to the outside world, saying some gold dealers were destroying the country’s image through such schemes.

According to the court before handing down the sentence, it took into consideration the fact that accused persons were first offenders, their plea for mitigation and the number of days spent in custody and their modus operandi.

The court, however, acquitted and discharged them on the charges of robbery and abetment of crime.

According to the court, prosecution could not lead evidence to prove the two charges.

Mr George Assamaney, defence counsel, lauded the judgement of the court but pleaded with it to deal leniently with the accused.

According to the defence counsel, accused persons had dependents and handing a custodial sentence would bring untold hardships on their families.

In August 2015, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Moses Atibilla who prosecuted the case, told the court that the complainant is a Canadian businessman.

He said in April last year, the complainant came to Ghana to purchase gold.

The prosecution said the complainant first met Mensah and told him about his mission in the country and the accused person told him, he and his boss were dealers in gold.

He said Mensah sent the complainant to CFC Estates towards Achimota, where they met Prince, who said they could supply him 50kg of gold at $31,750 per kilo.

ACP Atibilla said the accused persons then demanded that the complainant pay seven per cent of the amount, which was $ 110,250 for documentation and export so that the 50kg would be sent to the complainant’s partners in Dubai.

“Prince also told the complainant that while sending gold to the partners, he (Prince) will travel to Dubai for three days and come back to Ghana, after the gold has been delivered to the partners,” he said.

The prosecution said it was further agreed that the balance of $1,464, 750 would be given to the accused person on their return; and the 10kgs of gold would be handed over to the complainant.

He said the complainant, then paid $110,250 to the accused person and kept the 10kgs of the gold in his hotel.

The prosecution said the accused person, however, sent one kg of gold to the complainant’s partners in Dubai instead of the 50kgs and gave the complainant fake customs documentation.

He said few days later, after the tickets had been bought for the complainant to travel with Prince, Mensah went to pick the complainant together with the 10kgs of gold, pretended they were going to the airport and diverted to the accused person’s office for a meeting.

ACP Atibilla said at the office, one of the accused persons was holding a pistol claiming he was a customs officer.

He said they gave the complainant a fake document purported to be a court injunction retaining the shipment of the gold and forcibly took the 10kgs of gold from him.

Source: GNA

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