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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ex-Minister In US$86,500 Fraud Case

  • Christopher Ameyaw Ekumfi named »
Prof Ameyaw Akumfi
By Larry-Alans Dogbey & Kingsley Dogbey

An Accra Circuit Court, presided over by His Lordship, C.A. Wilson, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a 30-year-old woman, Gertrude Fitnat Selasi Bedzo, who claims to be a mistress of Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Ekumfi with whom she has a secret daughter, for defrauding a Holland-based Ghanaian the sum of US$86,500 under the pretext of securing him confiscated cars.

Ms. Bedzo has absconded on a passport bearing the name Stella Ferguson to Canada, where their 9-year-old girl is. This was after she was busted by the Teshie Police over the incident, but was granted bail upon persistent pressure from the ex-Minister for Ports and Harbours, Prof. Ameyaw-Ekumfi whose luxurious car the suspect was driving at the time of her arrest.

Impeccable sources within the police administration disclosed to The Herald that they are in the process of putting her details out and also tasking the Interpol officials in Canada, to arrest and deport her to Ghana to face criminal charges.

Ms. Bedzo, who had also claimed to be a final year student of McMaster University, Canada, falsely introduced herself to her victim, one Kojo Amoakohene, as an agent of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and collected the US$86,500, with a promise to use her influence as an FBI agent to procure confiscated cars for him. She then went into hiding and later sneaked out of Ghana.

Both the victim and the Teshie Police have confirmed the incident to The Herald, but Mr. Joe Boateng, an emissary who was sent by Prof. Ameyaw-Ekumfi to bail his concubine insists he would have to seek the ex-Minister’s permission before divulging details of the incident.

He, however, confirmed that the ex-minister asked him to stand surety for the lady in question.

All four phone lines of the ex-minister who is also a Member of Parliament for Techiman North Constituency, were off when it was dialed on many occasions. Ms. Bedzo’s mom, who claims she was receiving medical attention in Hohoe in the Volta Region, was also tightlipped on her daughter, when The Herald reached her.

According to the prosecutor, ASP Blagodzi, the victim met the suspect at the Oops Night Club – Accra in 2008, with two female foreigners, whom she claimed were also FBI agents assigned to Ghana to intercept smuggled cars in the country, and also track down narcotic drugs on their way to the US.

The ex-Minister’s girlfriend, told her victim that the FBI usually sell the confiscated cars to its staff at reduced prices and that she was going to use her connections to buy some for him.

ASP Blagodzi told the court that Mr. Amoakohene became convinced when during one of their meetings, he observed some ammunition, including a pistol, on the suspect which she claimed were being used as protection on their assignment.

He consequently, parted with US $34,500 for a Range Rover car, which the suspect claimed was available for sale.

Mr. Amoakohene, according to the prosecutor, further instructed his brother-in-law, Mr. Ransford Neewhang, a Canada-based Ghanaian and Dietician, to part with US$25,000 and an additional US$27,000 for an X5 BMW and Audi Q7 respectively, when the suspect met with Mr. Neewhang in Canada.

ASP Blagodzi said after receiving the money totaling US$86,500, Ms. Bedzo started playing hide and seek but later left the country with all attempts to get her proving futile.

Luck however eluded her on February 20 this year, when she was spotted by her victim in a blue Lexus G8 saloon car with registration number GR 505 Z with a Member of Parliament’s sticker on it at East Legon – Accra.

The assistance of two uniformed policemen passing by was quickly sought and she was apprehended and later handed over to the Teshie police.

Preliminary investigation conducted by the police revealed the car she was driving indeed, belonged to Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi.

The suspect under interrogation disclosed that she was the minister’s lover; that he gave her his car for her rounds, and that she has a baby girl with the ex-Minister. She placed many phones calls to the ex-minister many times in the custody of the police.

Interestingly, whilst the police were making arrangements to put her before court, one Joe Boateng stormed the station and said he has the strict orders of the ex-minister to stand surety for Ms. Bedzo. She was made to deposit her two passports; a Ghanaian one and Canadian one to prevent her from fleeing the country.

On February 24, 2010 Joe Boateng again stormed the police station in the company of the victim, Ms. Bedzo and one ACP Acheampong, said to be a former Transport Officer at the Police Headquarters where an agreement was reached to have the US$86,500, refunded within a month.

The ex-minister did not show his face but brooked the deal using his mobile phone.

Shockingly, however, the Teshie Police were shortly served with summons from the Fast Track High Court Human Rights Division, ordering the release of her two passports; that’s a Ghanaian passport with ID number HO 470805 issued on February 14, 2000 and a Canadian one with ID number JQ 435839 issued on November 23 2006.

The passports were subsequently handed over to Director Police Intelligence and Professional Standard (PIPS) at the Police Headquarters, but Ms. Bedzo did not go for them but fled the country with the name Stella Ferguson.

The time set for the money to be refunded elapsed and the police ordered Mr. Joe Boateng, surety, to produce her in court on April 29, 2010, but she could not be traced and after series of adjournments, the court issued the bench warrant on June 9, for her arrest.

Mr. Joe Boateng, who had told the police that he knows nothing about the lady and that he only stood surety on the orders of the Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi, is in deep trouble currently.

In court last Thursday, July 22, 2010, he was given August 12, the next sitting date to produce the alleged fraudster or face the full rigours of the law.

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