419 On Ascendency @ Tema Port

Fraudsters have taken advantage of the recent announcement by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to undertake public auctions at some of its installations, especially, at the Tema Port, to dupe unsuspecting Ghanaians. These criminals, under the pretext of selling auction vehicles have, within a week, swindled two persons of GH�53,000. Luck, however, eluded one of them, Nana Awuku, 33, and a clearing agent at Tema Community Two, when security personnel at Safe Bond Car Park, outside the Tema Port, apprehended him last Friday. Kofi Sarkodie, a Kumasi-based businessman and one of the victims, told The Chronicle that he saw on Tonaton.com, a website, an advert by the alleged criminal gang claiming to sell a Toyota Camry saloon car, and after initial contact, he was invited by the group to Accra. The supposed leader of the group then instructed one person to pick him and his brother, Appiah Kusi Joe, from the Kotoka International Airport to a place at Alhaji-Tabora, a suburb of Accra. According to Sarkodie, after conducting them round a host of vehicles without the said Camry, they were taken to another place and shown a Camry car, on which a welder was working, but Sarkodie and his brother rejected it. The group then took them to Safe Bond Car Park in Tema to inspect another Camry car, which, according to Sarkodie, they agreed to buy. Awuku then called Nana Adjei, who he claimed to be his boss, and negotiated the price of the car, which was pegged at GH�35,000, but upon further pleading, it was reduced to GH�33,000, which they readily paid. The suspect, after collecting the money, asked the buyers to wait for him in front of the car park, while he entered the banking hall to effect payment and documentation. He then collected from the unsuspecting buyers a daily pass, which had been procured for them earlier, to enable them enter the Safe Bond Car Park premises. The idea was to restrict the movement of the Kumasi-based businessmen. Appiah and his brother begun to suspect foul play, and reported to the security guard on duty at the car park, who alerted them that vehicles in the yard are not for sale, and that they might have been swindled. The security guard, who goes by the alias �Congo�, then apprehended Nana Awuku before he could leave the yard. Nana Adjei, who Awuku claimed to be his boss, bolted from the scene, upon witnessing Awuku�s arrest. The suspect, Nana Awuku, was then handed over to the Railway, Ports and Marine Police for further action. On Saturday, friends and relatives of the suspect, including a legal practitioner, allegedly proposed to refund GH�15,000 of the money, but the Kumasi businessman rejected it, insisting that he wanted all his money. In a related development, a certain Emelia Candly Bioh, based at Dansoman, was also swindled in similar fashion. According to her, on Thursday 20th November, 2014, she noticed a missed call on her cellular phone, and when she returned it, the caller said that he was a clearing agent and was waiting for her at the Tema Community One Post Office to negotiate over an auction car. According to her, she was first sent to Community Six, where she was shown pictures of a Toyota Camry and Hyundai Elantra, and asked to select one, after which they took GH�20,000 from her, which was the last time she heard from them. She told this reporter that she could no longer reach the cell phone numbers of the fraudsters. The police at Tema confirmed that they are receiving on a regular basis, similar reports of defrauding by false pretences.