Two accountants convicted over stealing and money laundering

Two accountants who stole GH¢970,000 belonging to Perseus Mining Ghana Limited, a gold mining company at Ayanfuri in the Central Region, have been sentenced to a fine of GH¢36,000 by an Accra Circuit Court.

Ebenezer Sackey Aidoo and Michael Abekah, employees of the mining company, in default, would serve 36 months imprisonment each.

This was after the court, presided over by Justice Ruby Aryeetey, a High Court Judge, sitting with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court Judge, found Aidoo and Abekah guilty on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime, two counts of stealing, and money laundering.

Chief Inspector Seth Frimpong, prosecuting, said the complainant was the Security Manager of Perseus Mining Ghana Limited and the convicts were former employees of the company.

Aidoo was at the Treasury and Abekah worked as an Account Payable Officer.

In June 2014, the Management of Perseus detected that two of the company’s blank cheques had been stolen from the safe and used to withdraw GH¢400,000 and GH¢570,000 respectively from the company’s Barclays Bank Account at High Street, Accra.

Prosecution said the company realised that the two cheques were written in the name of Asante Asuako Yeboah, a name that the company had no financial liabilities to.

A report was made against Aidoo and Abekah to the Police and after several months, prosecution said, Aidoo was arrested at Dunkwa-On-Offin.

Chief Inspector Frimpong said investigations later revealed that the account in the name of Asante Asuako Yeboah was a dummy account, which was opened by the two accused persons to enable them to deposit into it money they had conspired to write on the stolen blank cheques.

On February 5, 2014, the second cheque of GH¢570, 400 was also presented and paid into the dummy account at Obuasi Barclays Bank.

Prosecution said all the monies were cleared from the account as soon as they hit it.

Further investigations showed that a whooping GH¢480,000 was diverted in three tranches from the dummy account into another Barclays account number 1226725, which later turned out to be a personal account of Aidoo at North Kaneshie branch of the Bank, it said.

Prosecution said Aidoo admitted that he planned and carried out the offence with Abekah after which he gave Abekah GH¢470,000 as his share of the booty.

According to prosecution, Aidoo confessed that when the company detected the offence, Abekah gave him back GH¢90,000 out of his share to fly outside the country but he could not do so.

In the case of Abekah, prosecution said he admitted having received only GH¢230,000 from Aidoo out of which he refunded GH¢90,000 to Aidoo.

Investigations established that Abekah confirmed the cheques before they were honoured by the Bank.

Source: GNA

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