…over alleged fraud
By Nathaniel Y. Yankson
An ex-soldier, Lance Corporal Elvis Atoprah, 27, who was dismissed from the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) recently for his alleged engagement in fraudulent activities, is in police custody for similar offences.
L/Cpl Atoprah, according to the police, told his unsuspecting victims that he was with the enlistment office at the Army Headquarters in Burma Camp, Accra, and took monies ranging from GH¢500 to GH¢1,000 from them, with assurances that he would help them be enlisted into the Ghana Armed Forces.
Briefing newsmen yesterday at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters in Accra, the Deputy Director-General of CID, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Joshua Dogbeda, said the ex-soldier had a middleman who brought him clients to dupe.
The ex-soldier charged those who wanted to join the junior ranks GH¢500, and GH¢1,000 for the officers rank.
ACP Dogbeda mentioned that anytime the suspect took the money from the victims, he went into hiding, while resurfacing in another region to commit similar crimes.
L/Cpl Atoprah was arrested on Tuesday, and so far about 15 persons have come forward to lodge official complaints with the police.
The police are still waiting for more complaints from people who had fallen victim to his antics. However, unconfirmed reports suggested that he had so far taken a total of about GH¢20,000 from the 15 victims.
He was exposed by three people he had earlier collected GH¢500 each from. After cunningly robbing them of the said amount, L/Cpl Atoprah called to inform them that per their qualifications, they would fit into the officers’ course, and so they should top up with an additional GH¢500 each.
These three people, who hailed from Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region, became suspicious, according to ACP Dogbeda, and even went ahead to report the matter to the Military Police (MP) in Burma Camp, who advised the young men to concede to his proposal.
Meanwhile, L/Cpl Atoprah did not show up to collect the money at the designated location, Lapaz, but rather he sent a boy to receive the money on the behalf.
Atoprah was picked up by the MP, and subsequently handed over to the police to carry out investigations.
When L/Cpl Atoprah was trailed to his house at Santa Maria, a suburb of Accra, he had packed his belongings and fled.
Persistent enquiries by the police led to his arrest at a new location in Awoshie, also in Accra.