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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ecobank staff bolts with GH¢74,000 After being granted police enquiry bail

By Charles Takyi - Boadu

Even though officials of Ecobank, one of the leading banks in the country, are not forthcoming with information on the whereabouts of one of their staff, Rosemary Okai, who allegedly embezzled GH ¢114,000 of the bank, The Chronicle investigations have revealed that she has bolted away with the money.

Sources close to the family and head of the Public Relations Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Inspector Joseph Benefo Darkwa, has confirmed to the The Chronicle that the 35-year old nursing mother has left the country for the United Kingdom (UK), somewhere last month, for fear of being arrested and prosecuted for her inability to refund the remaining GH¢74,000 out of the total of GH ¢114,000 that she allegedly stole from the bank.

However, Management of the bank remains tight lipped about the issue. Corporate Affairs Manager of the bank, Rami Baitie, declined to comment on the subject when this reporter contacted him for his comments. Though he confirmed the theft and the lady involved, he failed to comment on whether the bank was aware that she has absconded with the rest of the money.

According to him, it is the bank’s corporate policy not to discuss issues under investigations with the media. When she was first arrested and sent to the CID headquarters in Accra, Rosemary admitted having committed the crime within a period of three months, but Police investigations have revealed that she did so for close to one year.

Rosemary, who until the incident was a Teller at the Osu Oxford street branch of the bank, was granted bail by the Police because she was nursing a baby boy at the time of her arrest.

According to Chief Inspector Darkwa, when they first heard about the rumour, the suspect had already absconded. When the police contacted her husband, one Gabriel Johnson, he told them that his wife had traveled to Koforidua and he was given two weeks to produce her. But the Police said their investigations had proven that she had absconded to the UK, leaving behind her six-month old baby.

So far, her family has managed to pay GH ¢40,540.00 out of the total amount she stole. Her father and brother, who stood surety for her are currently being pursued by the Police to produce the suspect, since she has forfeited the terms of her bail bond. This reporter gathered that the two would be appearing in court on Friday September 25, 2009, to answer relevant questions about the whereabouts of the suspect. Preliminary investigations conducted by the Police indicate that she deposited only part of monies she received from customers into the bankís account, after crediting the accounts of the customers.

This was disclosed by the head of the Crime Unit at the police headquarters, Superintendent Maame Yaa Tiwaa Danso, when she spoke to The Ghanaian Times newspaper somewhere last month after the news broke.

Upon interrogation, Rosemary Okai was alleged to have admitted to the police that she sometimes took some money home, but did not admit embezzling GH¢114,000 - although she reportedly told the investigators that she was prepared to refund the amount.

Police said when they visited her home at Dansoman, they found that she owned two provision shops, but denied being part of a money stealing syndicate at the bank

She, however, paid GH¢20,000 to the police out of the total GH¢114,000 she stole from the bank on Tuesday August 4, 2009, and was subsequently granted police enquiry bail with two sureties.

The bail was also granted on the grounds that she was nursing a six-month old baby who was also not feeling well.

Source:The Chronicle

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