Accra Circuit Court 10, presided over by Mrs Evelyn Asamoah has sentenced one Christopher Adomey to 15 months imprisonment for defrauding by false pretences.
Adomey was given the sentence after going through full trial of pleading not guilty to the charges of defrauding by false pretences and conspiracy to commit crime.
However, the court discharged the convict on conspiracy to commit crime and found him guilty on defrauding by false pretences.
Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu, the prosecutor in the case, told the court that Adomey had been charged together with other accused persons including Twum Addo, Isaac Boakye Yeboah, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh and Alhaji Kamil Hussain, who are also residents in Accra and Tema.
He said the complainant, Comfort Agbelengor, is a business woman and resident of Accra.
He said on November 28, 2017, the complainant imported four containers of tomato paste from Italy to Tema port, and in the month of December, 2017, Adomey approached her and told her that he is a clearing agent, and can clear the containers for her within two weeks.
He continued that the convict further told the complainant that the clearing fee for the four containers was GH¢260,000.00 and later gave his Stanbic bank account number 9040006067039 with a company name Merchant Alliance to the complainant to pay the money into it.
“On December 17, 2017, the complainant paid the said amount into the account that the convict provided to her.
“Unfortunately, the convict after receiving the money failed to clear the containers, and has stopped picking the telephone calls of the complainant,” he said.
Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu told the court that because of the failure on the part of the convict to clear the goods, the complainant disappointed her customers who needed the tomato pastes to sell during the Christmas festivities.
He said the convict after receiving the money went into hiding until May 11, 2018, when he was spotted at Osu Castle, and arrested.
He said during investigation, the convict admitted in his caution statement having received the said amount from the complainant and mentioned Lawrence Twum Addo, Isaac Boakye Yeboah, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh and Alhaji Kamil Hussain as his accomplices whom he shared the money with.
The Chief Inspector pointed out that the convict took GH¢9,000.00 out of the GH¢260,000.00 as his share and further disclosed that he is not a clearing agent, rather he is a middle man who always takes jobs and give same to qualified clearing agents.
He said the convict further admitted that after he took the money from the complainant, he shared the money among his accomplices so that they could assist him clear the goods through fraudulent means, but his accomplices took the money and abandoned the clearing assignment.
The prosecutor stressed that the convict confessed that the balance was respectively shared between his accomplices GH¢78,000.00, GH¢70,000.00, GH¢83,000.00 and GH¢20,000.00.
“The convict’s accomplices were later arrested, and they all admitted in their caution statements having received the said amounts from the convict, but could not give any tangible reasons why they took the money,” the prosecutor added.
Further police investigation at the Tema port disclosed that an amount of GH¢1,600.00 was paid and no clearing duty fee was paid.
However, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh has refunded his part to the police, while Alhaji Kamil Hussain has also refunded part payment of GH¢10,000.00 out of the GH¢20,000.00 he took from Adomey, but accused Lawrence Twum Addo and Isaac Boakye Yeboah were yet to refund theirs,” he said.