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Police Recruitment Fraud Of GHC138,410 Uncovered

Investigators have discovered Ghc138,410 in two separate bank accounts of two persons involved in a Ghc1.2-million police recruitment fraud. The suspects are believed to own accounts in several banks, and investigators are appealing to all banks in the country to co-operate to enable them retrieve the monies.

The investigators found Ghc115,000 in the account of Joseph Awuni, who is at large while an amount of Ghc23,410 was discovered in an account belonging to Aisha Asumda, alias Aisha Boku Masi.

The names of the banks are being withheld by The Finder for now. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service arrested Aisha Asumda and her two male accomplices – Joshua Palba, 35, and Ariel Lamptey, 21, both unemployed living in Accra – for collecting Ghc1.2 million from more than 300 people under the pretext of enlisting them into the Ghana Police Service.

Investigators wondered how Asumda, aged 36, a shea butter seller, and Joseph Awuni could deposit such an amount in their accounts without the banks questioning the source of the money.

According to investigators, Asumda has withdrawn part of the money, leaving Ghc23,410 in the account.

Investigations are continuing to locate other accounts of Asumda and her two male accomplices, as well as that of Joseph Awuni, who is on the run.

It will be important for the police to quickly freeze the account and apply to the court for confiscation for victims to get some refunds as well as boost the morale of investigators.

Banks must also be more vigilant in conducting Know Your Customer to identify such fraudsters and report them to the police.

When a search was conducted on them following their arrests, Ghc58,500 was retrieved. The amount is believed to be part of monies collected from the victims.

The police also retrieved from the suspects forged letters of the ‘Offer of Enlistment into the Ghana Police Service,’ with an attached list of training prospectus addressed to various victims.

There were also letters requesting the victims to report at the various police training schools on January 31, 2015.

Majority of the victims were graduates from the three northern regions and wives of military men working at the 37 Military Hospital, as well as other members of the public.

According to the Director-General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Prosper Agblor, the three were arrested at the 37 Military Hospital on Wednesday, December 24, 2014, where they had gone to collect more money from some of their victims who worked at the hospital.

COP Agblor said somewhere in November 2014, Aisha Asumda and her accomplices loaded their victims in three VIP buses and conveyed them to the Winneba Police Command and Staff College to start their training.

He said on their arrival at Winneba, the victims realised there was no recruit training programme at the college, so they continued their journey to the National Police Training School in Accra, but they were told once again that no recruits were expected at the training school.

All this while, the suspects kept assuring their victims of their entry into the Police Service, mentioning the names of senior police officers, including the Director-General/Human Resource Department as the persons they were working for.

COP Agblor said since September 2014, the Human Resource Department of the Ghana Police Service had been receiving calls from individuals all over the country enquiring about an ongoing enlistment exercise.

He said intelligence gathered over the period indicated that Asumda, while on her shea butter trading business in the three northern regions, started spreading the rumour.

He said Asumda made representations to the effect that there was an ongoing exercise to enlist people from the three northern regions and the Volta Region into the Ghana Police Service and that she was responsible for the exercise.

The CID Director said Aisha further claimed that the enlistment was in two categories: the first category was for first degree holders who were to pay Ghc7,000 to be enlisted into the officer corps of the service; the second category was for senior high school leavers who were to pay Ghc4,000 to be enlisted as recruits into the service.

Mr Agblor said between September and December 2014, the suspects, together with the one at large, managed to collect various sums of monies from the victims.

He said on December 24, 2014, the Police Surveillance team arrested the suspects at the 37 Military Hospital, where they had gone to receive additional money from some of their victims, who were wives of soldiers working at the hospital.

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