MOHAMMED ABDUL Rafat, a businessman, who claims to be working at the Osu Castle has landed in court over allegations that he had defrauded a lady to the tune of GH¢18,000 under the pretext that he was going to secure a visa for her.
The accused person who appeared in a court presided over by Mrs. Ivy Heward Mills pleaded not guilty to defrauding by false pretences and has been remanded in police custody to re-appear on August 9, 2011.
DSP Kofi Blagodzi, who presented the facts of the case, stated that the accused person is a businessman residing at Tema while the complainant, Mr. Richard Osei is the fiancé of the lady who was allegedly defrauded.
He said in the early part of April 2011, the complainant’s fiancée, one Adelaide Oforiwaa, showed some interest in travelling abroad and Mr. Osei promised to assist her.
According to him, the complainant contacted a friend by name Asare Adams alias Zimba to acquire a passport for Oforiwaa. Zimba in turn contacted one Atta who said he knew someone working at the Osu Castle who could secure a protocol visa for her.
The police officer said Atta then took Oforiwaa and the complainant to meet the accused person who introduced himself as someone working at the Osu Castle. After the interaction, he promised to get each of them a five-year US visa.
Furthermore, he stated that Rafat charged the couple $10,000. Convinced that the deal would go through they gave them GH¢1,400 as the initial deposit for the processing fee.
The businessman gave them the assurance that their visas would be ready within a month the prosecutor said adding that on June 10, he called the complainant and told him their visas were ready so they should come for them.
He said on June 13, the couple arrived from Kumasi with their luggage and met the accused person together with some witnesses.
They subsequently gave GH¢3,000 to the accused person who said he needed it to buy them their plane tickets.
In addition, prosecution observed that the accused person took the complainant and his fiancée to Best West Hotel and booked a room for them in the name of one Dr. Kyei, leader of a protocol delegation to the US.
He said the complainant was convinced that the deal was done and went ahead to cash GH¢14,600 which his fiancée gave to the castle worker and explained that after taking the money, he asked the couple to stay there till morning and that he would come and take them to the airport for boarding at 10pm.
The police officer stated that the complainant became suspicious and cross-checked from Delta Airlines to confirm their flight but to his surprise their names were not there and when they tried reaching Rafat, his phone was switched off.
He said they consequently reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the accused person and Zimba who both denied any wrongdoing.
The prosecuting officer said the businessman admitted collecting the said amount but said he gave it to someone who he claimed he could not trace.
DSP Blagozdi said Rafat made a commitment to refund the money to the complainant by paying GH¢1,500 to the police and was charged with the offence after investigations.
Source: Fidelia Achama
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