Mobile Money Thief Busted

A member of a syndicate, which has been defrauding the public using the mobile money platform, has been arrested by the police.

They usually place telephone calls to unsuspecting victims and ask them to send money to clear goods sent by relatives.

The cyber crime unit apprehended 23-year-old Lawrence Boafo aka Destiny, leader of the gang upon intelligence at Assin Darman in the Central Region.

Suspect is alleged to have defrauded a victim to the tune of GH¢83,070.

Two of his accomplices, identified as Nana Konadu and Nana Antwi, are at large and have been declared wanted.

The bank account of suspect has also been frozen by the police pending investigations.

Briefing the media, the Director in-charge of the Cyber Crime Unit of the Criminal investigations Department, Chief Superintendent Dr Gustav Herbert Yankson, said on November 7, 2017, Boafo called the victim with a UK phone number and introduced himself as a Ghanaian based in UK.

After a lengthy conversation, Boafo realized that victim had lived in UK for several years and had a friend known as Esther Owusu whom he had lost her contact after he returned to Ghana.

Boafo later called the victim and pretended to be the Esther Owusu and told him that she had plans of coming to Ghana for the Christmas holidays and therefore needed assistance to clear some goods she (Esther) had sent through Global Express.

The suspect gave telephone number and tracking code to the victim to contact an agent of Global Express to help him clear the goods.

The suspect called the victim using a different mobile number, pretended to be the clearing agent and instructed the victim to pay an amount of GH¢970 through mobile money to start the process.

The suspect called the victim few hours after he transferred the said amount and told him that it had been detected that the package contained foreign currencies which were unlawful and requested GH¢36,000 to be paid as penalty through the same mobile money number.

On November 10, 2017, Boafo called the victim and told her that Esther Owusu, who shipped the container had been arrested in the UK for hiding prohibited items in her cargo, and an additional amount of GH¢46,100 must be paid to the clearing agent as security penalty before she would be released.

The victim, after transferring the money, realized that he had been duped and reported the matter to the police and through intelligence and with the assistance of the telco company, Boafo was arrested at Assin Darman.

Two SIM cards, Vodafone SIM card, two empty MTN starter packs, a modem and an empty foreign starter pack, were retrieved from his room after a search.

Upon interrogation, the suspect said he got the victim’s number through true caller application, impersonated Esther Owusu and defrauded him.

The suspect said he spent part of his money and kept the rest in his bank account.