Senior Forestry official charged with fraud granted bail

Accra� A Senior Forestry officer, Frank Kofi Frimpong, who was put before an Accra Circuit Court on two charges of defrauding by false pretence and four charges of issuing false cheques has been granted bail.

Frimpong was said to have defrauded one Dr Sheikh Amin Mohammed Bonsu of an amount of GH1,500,000.00 and one Stephen Agyei and other members of the Ghana Muslim Mission of an amount of GH5,126,000.00.

He was also said to have issued false cheques with face value of US$50,000 and GH4,000,000.00 to be drawn by Stephen and GH100,000.00 to be drawn by Amin Bonsu.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and was granted bail in the sum of GH4,000,000.00 with six sureties. Three of the sureties must provide justification.

The case has since been adjourned to December 3.

The facts of the case, as presented by Police Chief Inspector Emmanuel Haligah was that, the complainants Stephen Nana Agyei is a Businessman and Shiek Dr. Amin Mohammed Osei Bonsu is a Medical Practitioner.

The accused Frimpong is a Senior Forestry official residing at Coastal Estate Tema.

He said during the year 2010, Frimpong came into contact with Stephen at Dome Railways crossing, Accra. During conversation, Frimpong introduced himself as a senior official who was in charge of a tree Plantation Project funded by the United Nation and World Bank.

He said Frimpong gave Stephen tutorial about how the project was handled. He managed to convince him into believing that the project was viable to invest into.

The prosecution said Stephen informed Amin Bonsu about the project. Some days later, Frimpong scheduled a meeting with the two complainants where they then became interested.

He said upon hearing the project was viable, the accused convinced them to use their land situated at Nkodua in the Ashanti Region for the project which they did and informed them that the financial support from United Nations and World Bank comes after the project had commenced.

Mr Haligah said Frimpong suggested that, they plant Moringa and based on his directives the project was started in the year 2015 where he promised that after three months the United Nations and World Bank would refund the pre-financed cost incurred.

He said after three months, he started with excuses and said further stated that the entire project was geared towards poverty alleviation and therefore requested, that the Ghana Muslim Mission should be informed of the benefits of the project so that they can take advantage of it.

The complainants who were members of the Ghana Muslim Mission, informed other members who became convinced and invested into the project for dividends.

He told the court that Frimpong caused for deposits to be made into CAL Bank account numbers 0021010539417 and 0051020539414 Independence Avenue Branch in the name of Vision 2050 Forestry (GH) Limited.

Prosecution said the accused convinced the complainants and other witnesses that the amount invested would be deposited in an Excro account.

Under the same pretext, accused deceived Amin Bonsu to part with cash in the sum of GH1,500,000.00 towards the project.

The prosecution said, Frimpong within the same period took various sums of money totalling GH5, 126,000.00 from Stephen and other members of the mission.

He said the complainants after sometime detected that they had been defrauded. They approached the accused who promised to refund the amount collected.

In his bid to effect payment, he issued Cal Bank cheque Number: 000354 dated April 15, 2017 with face value of USD50,000; cheque number 000150 dated June, 20, 2017 with face value of GH400,000.00; another dated June, 06, 2017 with face value GHC400,000.00 and UMB cheque No.571893 with face value of GH100,000.00 to be withdrawn from various branches by the complainants.

Mr Haligah said all the cheques were returned for lack of funds in the account and when the accused was accordingly informed he failed to resolve the issue.

He said a complaint was later made to Police and accused was arrested.

He admitted the offence and promised refund and paid GH78,000.00.

Source: Ghana News Agency