Two individuals have appeared before an Accra Circuit Court, accused of defrauding an American of $1,205,000 by falsely promising to supply the victim with seven 20-footer containers of money.
Dzam Abotsi, a car dealer, and Nana Kwame Yanka, a businessman, face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and defrauding under false pretenses.
Abotsi allegedly charged the complainant $100,500 and an additional $200,000 for rent and security protection for the containers.
The exact amount taken by other accomplices from the American remains unclear.
Meanwhile, Abotsi and Yanka have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court, presided over by Mr. Samuel Bright Acquah, has granted the accused persons bail in the amount of GHC1 million cedis, with three sureties, one of whom must be justified.
An accomplice identified as Alhaji Tanko, a businessman facing the same charges, is currently at large.
The matter has been adjourned to November 23, 2023.
The prosecution, led by Superintendent of Police Augustus Yirenkyi, disclosed that the complainant, Gary Bernsten, is an American Asset Recovery Officer.
Supt. Yirenkyi stated that Abotsi and Yanka reside in Sowutuom and Chantan, respectively.
The prosecution informed the court that Bernsten and his business partners in Brazil were informed about a stash of United States Dollars stored in about 20 containers in Ghana.
The prosecutor revealed that Bernsten and his associates conducted investigations and decided to travel to Ghana to recover the money cache.
According to the prosecutor, Bernsten arrived in Ghana and met Abotsi, the first accused person.
The prosecutor explained that Bernsten was taken to a warehouse in Sowutuom, where he inspected United States dollars concealed in approximately seven containers.
The prosecution informed the court that a forensic examination of the dollars in the containers confirmed their authenticity.
The prosecutor further stated that Abotsi charged the complainant $100,500, in addition to $200,000 for rent and security for the containers.
It was explained that the monies were paid to Abotsi through cryptocurrency and wire transfers.
The prosecution mentioned that Bernsten engaged the services of Skynet Logistics, who transported the seven containers with the money to Tema, Community 12, based on Abotsi’s recommendation.
The prosecutor stated that a few days later, Bernsten visited the warehouse to move the containers with the money to Tema Harbour but found the warehouse empty.
A report was made to the police, leading to the arrests of Abotsi and Yanka.
The prosecution is currently making efforts to apprehend Alhaji Tanko and other individuals who remain at large.