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A Lands Commission theft syndicate was exposed after stealing GHC100 million

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A Lands Commission theft syndicate was exposed after stealing GHC100 million

Sixteen out of twenty-one members of a syndicate mastered in stealing draft cheques meant for Land Commission have been arrested by the officials of the National Investigation Bureau (BNI).

The suspects managed to manipulate software of the Lands Commission and did steal about 500 draft cheques all valued about GH¢100,000,000 being revenue belonging to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

They have been charged with three counts namely conspiracy to commit crime to wit stealing and money laundering, contrary to section 23(1) and 124 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, (ACT29) and Section 1 of the Anti-money Laundering Act 2020 (ACT 1044), Stealing contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, ACT (29) and Money Laundering: Contrary to Section 1 of Anti-money Laundering Act, 2020 (ACT1044),

Names of the suspect were given as
Frederick Okai, Gideon Obeng Mensah, Andrews Tettey Antwi, Frank kwame Darko, Jude Odoom Yamoah, Emmanuel Mawuli Bani. Jephther Sanso Akyea.

The remaining suspects are Gilbert Fongadje Awuvie, Isaac Karikari Junior alias Bonsu, Sani Mohammed Issah, David Maanyin Antoh, Kofi Armoo Okyne, Samson Sebrah, Frank Debrah alias Franko, Emmanuel Ketigoa and Nutifafa Asare Kojo .

However, four of the suspects have managed to escape arrest and currently at large.
They are Alfred Amarquaye, Jason Hassan Degalu, Mary Kish Bagbodjan, Leslie Bruce, and Adams.

They were said to have committed the crime for three years that is between the year 2021 and 2023 did use the sum of about Gh¢100,000,000 knowing to be proceeds of crime to benefit themselves at the expense of the State.

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According to sources at the NIB, nine of the suspects who happen to be staff of the Lands Commission namely, Frederick, Gideon, Andrews, Frank, Jude, Emmanuel, Sanso Akyea, Gilbert and Isaac alias Bonsu, conspired with Sani Mohammed, an Accountant at Arieli Company Limited, David Antoh, a staff of First National Bank, Kofi Armoh, CEO of Air State Company Limited, Samson Debrah, a staff of Local Government, A14, a businessman, Emmanuel Ketigo, a clearing agent, Asare Kojo, a staff of Tema Development Company Limited (TDC) as well as the suspects on the run to commit the crime.

The source said, Sani Mohammed, David Antoh, Kofi Armoh and Mary Kish as well as others who were billed to pay stamped duties with draft cheques with face valued ranging from Gh¢20,000 to Gh¢ 2,500,000 to Lands Commission, went to the aforementioned first nine suspects and conspired and acted together with the tenth to the twenty-one suspects for the said cheques should not be paid to the Lands Commission but rather to them and denied the GRA and by extension the nation the needed revenue.

They were to have managed to craftily manipulated the Lands Commission administrative software to show that the stamp duties and other revenues were duly paid and share the money among themselves.

The suspects, according to the source agreed and acted according to their plan.

“The draft cheques were thereafter, handed over to Emmanuel Ketigo through Samson Debrah and Frank Debrah and took the cheques to clearing agents at the Tema harbour wherefore, the said cheques were used to pay import duties for importers.

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Thereafter, Emmanuel Ketigo received physical cash of the face valued of the cheques and the monies were shared among themselves based in percentage with Emmanuel taking 15 percent of the face of the cheques, the first-nine suspects taking 40-45 percent whilst the remaining 40-45 percent were shared among the remaining suspects.

Between the months of January and early February, 2023 the accused persons were arrested upon a petition filed by Sani Mohammed and his company.

During investigations it was revealed that draft cheques with face valued totaling about hundred million Ghana cedis (gh¢100,000,000.00) meant for Ghana Revenue Authority were stolen by the suspects as a total amount of Gh2,858,664.00 were retrieved from them.

During interrogation seven of the suspects voluntarily confessed that they used some proceed of crime to build their houses and bought cars.

They then after led the investigation team and showed them the said properties within Greater Accra Region, Eastern Region and Central Region respectively.

Officials NIB are still hunting for the remaining suspects and to identify more properties.

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