The police in Accra have apprehended six persons who had allegedly been duping unsuspecting people by selling fake mobile phones to them at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The suspects are Yaw Seth, 32 years old; Moses Bentum, 20; Abiri Nsubilla, 20; Gilbert Asamoah, 22; Danso George, 21 and Akwesi Osei, 27.
They purportedly display for sale genuine phones to their target customers, but clandestinely change them and put fake ones in boxes when the prospective buyers show interest in purchasing them.
After buying them, the customers later discover to their dismay that some of the boxes contain items such as a cake of soap, floor tile and a piece of wood.
The suspects, according to the police, have mingled with the other traders and portray themselves as mobile phone sellers looking for customers.
They have in their pockets carved and beautifully shaped stones, floor tiles and soaps like mobile phones concealed in phone covers, according to the police.
They then display real mobile phones to attract attention of passersby and when someone shows interest, buys and pays for the real phone, the swindler (seller) pretends to be putting it in its box and craftily swaps it with the fake one (either the shaped cake of soap, floor tile or piece of wood).
After succeeding in swindling the unsuspecting customer, the seller immediately leaves the location to avoid any trouble.
Akwesi Osei used this modus operandi to defraud his victim of an amount of È»1,500 after enticing the person with a Samsung S5 mobile phone.
The victim (name withheld) later realized that a piece of stone concealed in a phone container had been sold to him and immediately reported the matter to the police.
The Accra Regional Police Commander, ACP Timothy Yoosa Bonga, who briefed the media on the arrests of the six suspects and what followed thereafter, said about 156 of the fake mobile phones were retrieved from them.
He said that phones sold in this dubious way usually ranged from È»200.00 to È»1,500.00, depending on its make and brand.
ACP Bonga said when the six suspects were interrogated after their arrests they could not produce receipts covering the phones in their possessions.
He said a victim later came to identify Akwasi Osei for having defrauded him under the guise of selling a Samsung S5 mobile phone to him.
He urged people who have fallen prey to the suspected fraudsters to report at the regional police command.