By Diana M. Kodie .
A 54-year-old Senior Forestry Officer dragged to court for defrauding members of the Ghana Muslim Mission.
The accused person, Frank Kofi Frimpong, who was not present in court due to ill-health, was said to have collected various sums of money from Stephen Nana Adjei, Sheik/Dr. Amin Mohammed Osei Bonsum and some members of the Ghana Muslim Missionm under the pretext of investing into a United Nations and World Bank Plantation Project.
In all, the Senior Forester collected GH¢5,126,000 from some members of the Ghana Muslim Mission, and GH¢1,500,000 from Sheik/Dr. Amin
He has since been charged with two counts of defrauding by false pretense and issuing of false cheque.
The court, presided over by Malikae Awo Woanya Dey, upheld the plea of the counsel for the accused that he was indisposed, and adjourned the case to October 24, 2018, for him to appear before the court.
The facts, according to Chief Inspector Emmanuel Haligah, were that the complainants, Stephen Nana Adjei and Sheik/Dr. Amin Mohammed Osei Bonsu, are a businessman and medical practitioner respectively.
The accused, Frank Kofi Frimpong, is a senior Forester residing at Coastal Estate, Tema.
During the year 2010, the accused came into contact with the first complainant, Mr. Adjei at Dome Railway crossing, Accra.
During conversation, the accused introduced himself as a Senior Forester who was in charge of a tree plantation project funded by the United Nations (UN) and World Bank.
He further said that he was the head of the project in Ghana, and gave Mr. Adjei tutorials on how the project was handled, where he managed to convince him into believing that the project was viable to invest in.
Mr. Adjei also then informed the second complainant, Sheik/Dr. Amin, about the project, and some days later the accused scheduled a meeting with them, and they eventually became interested.
The accused later convinced them to use their land situated at Nkodua in the Ashanti Region for the project, which they did.
According to the Prosecutor, the accused informed them that the financial support from the UN and World Bank would come after the project had commenced, suggesting that they plant Moringa.
Based on his directives, the project started in 2015, and Frank Kofi Frimpong promised that, after three months the UN and World Bank would refund the pre-financial cost incurred.
The prosecution said after three months, he started with excuses, and subsequently, said the entire project was geared towards poverty alleviation.
The accused then requested that members of the Ghana Muslim Mission be informed of the benefits of the project, so that they can take advantage of it.
The two, Mr. Adjei and Sheik/Dr. Amin, who are members of the Ghana Muslim Mission, informed other members, and the accused later went with the two men to educate the members on it.
Again, the accused was able to convince able to convince them to invest for dividends, and caused deposits to be made into CAL Bank account numbers 0021010539417 and 0051020539414, Independent Avenue Branch, in the name of Vision 2050 Forestry (GH) Limited.
The accused convinced Mr. Adjei and Sheik/Dr. Amin and other witnesses that the amount invested would be deposited in an escrow account.
The Prosecutor told the court that under the same pretext, the accused deceived Sheik/Dr. Amin to part with cash in the sum of GH¢1,500,000 towards the project.
From page 2
The accused, within the same period, took various sums of money totaling GH¢5,126,000 from Mr. Adjei and other members of the Ghana Muslim Mission.
The prosecution said Mr. Adjei and Sheik/Dr. Amin, after some time, detected that they had been defrauded and eventually approached the accused, who promised to refund the amount collected.
He said in his bid to effect payment, he issued Cal Bank cheque numbers 000354 dated 15/04/2017 with a face value of US$50,000, 000150 dated 20/06/2017 with a face value of GH¢400,000, and 00149 dated 20/06/2017 with a face value of GH¢100,000 to be withdrawn from the various branches by the complainants.
The prosecution averred that all the cheques were returned for lack of funds in the accounts.
Mr. Adjei and Sheik/Dr. Amin then proceeded to the police to lodge a complaint, and the accused was apprehended, where he admitted the offence and promised to effect payment.
He, however, refunded GH¢78,000.
After investigations he was charged with the offences and arraig