The Western Regional Police Command has smashed a syndicate led by Nana Kwesi Okyere, who claims to be a contractor, that has allegedly defrauded the Juaboso District Assembly to the tune of GH¢200,000.

The suspect was arrested when he presented a cheque to the Takoradi branch of the Bank of Ghana with the face value of GH¢37,800 and fake contract documents purported to contain details of the cost of a project awarded to him by the assembly.

The cheque bore the signature of the District Finance Officer, Frank Kojo Dadzie, and the District Coordinating Director, Mr Hammond, who were allegedly waiting for him outside the bank but bolted when Nana Okyere was arrested.

The fake contract documents were also bearing the forged signature of the District Chief Executive, Mr Solomon Fuakyie, who expressed surprise when contacted.

According to the police, the scam was exposed after certain elements within the assembly felt peeved because they did not benefit from the deal.

The suspect, Nana Okyere, told the police that he normally travelled from Accra to Takoradi to meet officials from the finance department of the assembly to work out the deal.

He said after receiving the cheque he presented it and the fake contract documents to the Bank of Ghana for payment.

He explained that after cashing the cheque, the people, including the finance director and deputy coordinating director, would collect the money from him and give him his share of the deal thereafter.

“I will go away until they call me again for another deal and I cannot recall how many times but they are substantial amounts,” the suspect said.

Briefing the media, the Western Regional Police Commander, DCOP Alhaji Hamidu Mahama, said after the police received information about the operations; they commenced investigations into the deal and contacted the Central Bank for assistance.

The commander said last Wednesday the suspect, neatly dressed in suit, presented the cheque with the face value of GH¢37,800 issued by the Juaboso District Assembly.

He said the police-personnel positioned themselves at the bank and upon seeing the police the suspect took to his heels but he was apprehended.

The police said the suspect confessed that he was neither a contractor nor had any business with the assembly and that he was working for the people in the finance office of the assembly.

Alhaji Hamidu said when the manager of the Bank of Ghana office called the assembly to verify the authenticity of the cheque, the assembly said the last cheque the assembly issued was on September 2, 2010.

But the records at the Bank of Ghana also indicated that seven withdrawals had been made through the same process.

Meanwhile, the Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, has called for immediate arrest of the officials of the assembly and the bank who are involved in the deal.

Source: Daily Graphic