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Drama in court after couple are jailed 25 years for stealing

A businessman aggressively challenged a Circuit court judge after he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on the charges of conspiracy to steal, abetment of crime and money laundering.

Immediately the Judgement was read, Frank Kwesi Obeng reportedly asked: “Please do you know me somewhere, why have you given me 15 years jail term?”

Obeng then took off his shirt and walked aggressively towards the judge.

But with the timely intervention of the prosecutor and a court warrant officer, the trial judge, Evelyn Asamoah, was escorted to her chambers.

Obeng was then escorted out of the courtroom bare-cheated and without his sandals.

Some sympathisers who thronged the court also objected to the judgement of the court, expressing their doubt over the complainant’s claims.

Also in the dock was Joyce Safowaa, his wife and an accomplice, who was also found guilty on the charges of conspiracy to steal, abetment of crime and stealing GHC 712, 229 belonging one Mavis Toffan, the complainant.

Safowaa is to serve 10 years imprisonment, to which she shouted amidst tears: “God, I am dreaming”! and sat in the chair in apparent disbelief.

The trial Judge, Evelyn Asamoah at the end of the trial, ordered that all the landed property and a Toyota Venza believed to have been acquired through the crime proceeds were to be given to the complainant.

Additionally, it ordered that the items in a shop belonging to the convicts be released to the complainant.

Again, the convicts are to refund the complainant’s GHC712,229 to her.

The Prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Haligah said the complainant, Mavis Toffan was a businesswoman, residing at Accra.

According to ASP Haligah, the complainant is the proprietress of MAVOBED Enterprise, dealers in children’s clothes and babies’ accessories. She owned a big store at Okaishie and also had a warehouse where she kept the bulk of her goods, located behind her store.

The Prosecution said the complainant usually imported goods from China but sometimes she received deliveries from her colleague traders at Okaishie.

The prosecutor said Joyce Safowaa and Frank Kwesi Obeng were lovers and they both resided in Accra.

The Prosecution said Safowaa was employed by the complainant as a salesperson in her shop and had been working with the complainant for the past 13 years.

According to the Prosecutor, Safowaa gained the trust and confidence of the complainant to the extent that whenever the complainant travelled on a business trip to China, she entrusted both the store and the warehouse, with their respective keys in her care.

Safowaa is also responsible for the collection of goods from the warehouse to the store.

The Prosecution said in the course of their love relationship in the year 2013, Obeng convinced Safowaa to steal from the complainant so that they could establish their own store and trade in the same business.

The Prosecutor told the court that pursuant to this agreement, Obeng rented a store at Weija to put their plan into fruition.

Since Safowaa was the custodian of keys to the complainant’s store and the warehouse, it was easy for her to have access to the goods, which she stole with the connivance of Obeng and used them to fill their shop at Weija, according to the Prosecution.

According to the prosecutor, anytime the complainant was absent from the store, Safowaa would quickly pack quantities of goods from the store and warehouse, give same to a head porter only known as B2, who carried them to Obeng in a waiting BMW saloon car at the Rawlings Park.

Prosecution said Obeng then drove the stolen goods to their shop at Weija.

The act continued until the two filled their shop at Weija to full capacity and restocked it when they ran out of goods.

The Prosecution said sometimes Safowaa ordered goods in the name of the complainant but diverted them into their store at Weija.

After operating the Weija store for some time, Obeng suggested to Safowaa that business was not flourishing as he expected and wanted it moved to Kasoa.

Prosecution told the court that during the year 2015, Obeng used part of the proceeds from the sale of the complainant’s goods to rent another store at Kasoa at GH¢45,000.00 for a nine-year period.

The couple then closed the Weija shop and transferred the goods into the Kasoa store.

The Prosecution said Obeng again used part of the proceeds to buy a Toyota Venza vehicle with registration number GX 1061-14 at a cost of GH¢45,000.00 to facilitate the carting of the stolen goods.

Additionally, Obeng used part of the monies realised to purchase a plot of land at McCarthy Hill at a cost of GHC10,500.

Prosecution said the complainant did not detect the theft until 2016, when she realised that her business was running into debts and the profit margin was rapidly declining.

In January 2018, she began investigations to find out the cause of the declining profit margin and also to know why she was running into debt.

When she took stock in the warehouse and store and realised that she was in debt of GHC600,000.

She then reported Safowaa and Obeng to the Police and during interrogation, they admitted the offences in their investigations caution statement.

The Prosecution said the complainant led the Police to the couple’s shop and identified GHC80,000 worth of goods, with some of the goods embossed with the name of the complainant.

The complainant produced receipts on the items to buttress her claim of theft, but the couple could not produce any documents in respect of any purchase.

An inventory was then taken of the goods at the Kasoa shop.

“The audit report revealed that between the year 2013 to 2018, Safowaa stole goods worth GHC712, 229.”

Source: GNA

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