Monday, April 30, 2012

Two charged for defrauding investor

April 12, 2012 (Page 3 Lead) A FEMALE model and her driver today appeared before the Accra Circuit Court for allegedly defrauding an American investor to the tune of $1, 658, 781 .00 . Sandra Sorice and Yussuf Ahmed Akpakli were alleged to have in March 2010, promised to supply the complainant, Reginald Bauvaux with 831 kilogrammes of cocaine but failed to deliver the gold as well as failed to return the money. However, counsel for Sandra, Mr. Victor K. Adawudu, countered the prosecution’s claim and explained that it was rather the complainant who owed Sandra $1 million. According to him, his client, who was separated with her husband was in an amorous relationship with the complainant but ended the relationship upon realizing that the complainant was a fraudster. They pleaded not guilty to two counts each of conspiracy and defrauding by false pretence. The court, presided over by Mrs Ivy Heward-Mills, granted each of the accused persons bail in the sum of GHC300, 000 with four sureties each. She directed the investigators to ensure that the sureties were persons of repute. The court also directed the accused persons to report to the police every other Monday. The investigator in charge of the case, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Seth Sewornu, arrested a photographer from the Daily Guide newspaper for taking pictures of Sandra outside the courtroom. Sewornu took offence when other journalists prevailed upon him to release the photographer. He drove off with the photographer in his KIA vehicle with registration number GT 80 57 – 10. He, however, released the photographer at the premises of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Ghana Police Service after court reporters had made frantic calls to the Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Police Service and other superior officers to plead for the release of the photographer. Earlier, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Adan Dery presented the facts of the case and told the court that the complainant met Sandra in March 2010 and indicated his intention to purchase and export gold to the United States of America (USA). According to the prosecution, Sandra took $1.6 million from the complainant, whose name was not provided to the court and promised to ship the gold to the complainant but failed to do so. The complainant on realizing that Sandra was not in a position to deliver the gold began demanding for a refund of the $1.6 million. The prosecution informed the court that Sandra gave flimsy excuses each time the complainant demanded for the refund of the $1.6 million. The complainant lodged a complaint with the police after all efforts to retrieve his money proved futile. Applying for bail for Sandra, Mr. Adawudu, said the facts presented by the prosecution were inaccurate. He said Sandra lived in Germany with her husband while the complainant was a fugitive on the run. According to counsel Sandra was in a relationship with the complainant but decided to end it after she observed the complainant was dishonest. Counsel’s statement that the accused person was in a relationship with the complainant drew a curious stare and a question from the presiding judge because he had earlier stated Sandra was married. Mr Adawudu, however, clarified quickly and explained that Sandra had separated from her husband and described his client as a woman of substance who would prove her innocence at the appropriate time. Counsel prayed for bail for the accused persons and assured the court that his clients had credible sureties as well as would avail themselves to stand trial. The court enquired from ASP Sewornu whether or not the accused persons were complying with the conditions under a police enquiry bail to which he answered in the affirmative. Mr. Adawudu prayed the court to ensure that the trial was expedited in order for the truth to prevail. He further prayed the court to permit his client to hand over her kids to her husband to enable them to attend school so she can come back to Ghana and stand trial. The court granted her permission to travel and adjourned the case to April 30, 2012.

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