Two persons remanded over car theft


Two persons accused of using forged documents to rent a car and were in the process of selling it have been remanded by the Amasaman Circuit Court.

Francis Abban pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud, defrauding by false pretence, conspiracy to forge official documents and forging official documents.

However, the pleas of Justice Ekow Annan Mensah, alias Nicholas Kofi Gyan or Ike-Naza, his alleged accomplice, were not taken due to the fact that he said he could only communicate in Fante and there was no Fante interpreter, thus, the Court ordered the registry to secure an interpreter on May 23, 2024, the next adjourned date.

Tahiru Ahmed, mason, another accused person, who denied attempting to sell the stolen car was granted a GHC200,000.00 bail with two sureties to be justified by a landed property.

His sureties are to deposit their valid identity cards with the Court’s registry, as ordered by the Court.

One Yaw Eric, their accomplice, is on the run and is being sought for by the Police.

Their co
unsel in praying for bail, said they had fixed places of abode, capable sureties, not flight risk, the charges against the were bailable and that they were innocent until proven guilty.

In opposing the application, Chief Inspector Salifu Bashiru said contrary to what counsel said, the accused persons had no fixed places of abode as a result, they would not attend Court to stand trial when granted bail.

He said the accused persons were members of a syndicate who had committed a similar offence and they were on the Police wanted list, adding that Abban was arrested and arraigned as a result but he jumped bail and was on bench warrant, only to reorganise the others to commit the current offence.

Prosecution drew the attention of the Court to the fact that Derrick Opoku Yeboah, their alleged leader, the mastermind, was still on admission and said the rest should also be kept in Police custody for speedy trial.

The Court, per its discretionary powers also could grant them bail with conditions, including landed
property to ensure they did not run away, prosecution prayed.

Defense counsel, on the other hand, said prosecution was being speculative, stressing that the image of his clients should not be tarnished based on Prosecution’s conjectures that one of them had committed a similar offence when the Police did not have evidence.

He said as part of satisfying the bail conditions, their homes should be inspected.

The Court presided over by Ms Enid Marful-Sau, in refusing the two people bail, noted that though the Police did not have any evidence to the alleged previous crime, she considered the gravity of the punishment to the offense and the fact that Abban, when granted bail might not return to court to stand trial.

Police Chief Inspector Bashiru said complainant was the Accra Regional Police Command and victim, Eric Appiah, was a car rental dealer living at Teshie.

He said Abban, is unemployed and living around Feteh Kakraba.

He said Derrick Opoku Yeboah, a businessman lived at Adenta whilst Mensah alias Ike
-naza was unemployed, living at Cape Coast, adding that, Tahiru Ahmed was a mason, living at Ayawaso.

Prosecution said on April 29, 2024, the Police Intelligence Directorate (PID) of the Accra Regional Police Command had Intelligence about a planned sale of a vehicle suspected to be stolen.

Chief Inspector Bashiru said the following day, Abban, Yeboah, and Ahmed were arrested at Awoshie in an attempt to sell a GHC170,000 worth 2016-year model Toyota Rav 4 with Registration number GS 9947 – 22, for GHC50,000.00.

He said investigations revealed that, the accused persons were members of a syndicate that specialised in using fictitious documents to hire vehicles from unsuspecting car rental companies and sell same to unsuspecting persons at very cheap prices and abscond.

Chief Inspector Bashiru said on April 28, 2024, Yaw Eric, at large, contacted Mensah, alias Nicholas Kofi Gyan or Ike-naza and Abban told him about their formula for making money and Mensah agreed to join the syndicate.

Abban, prosecution sa
id, paid for Ahmed to travel from Cape Coast to Buduburam, their hideout and on April 29, 2024, Abban used an image of Mensah to forge a driver’s license and Ecowas Identity Card (Ghana Card) with the fictitious name.

Gyan Nicholas Kofi and Yaw Eric used the said fictitious identity to request for a 2016-year model Toyota Rav 4 SUV with registration number GS 9947 -22 from Trust Point Consult and Trading Enterprise, a car rental company at Teshie First Junction-Century Road.

On same day, the Court was told that Abban, Yeboah, Mensah and Yaw met at Pokuasi ACP and rented an apartment for the night which they used to present to victim Eric Appiah as Mensah’s lodging place.

Chief Inspector Nashiru said Mensah used the forged driver’s license and Ghana Card to claim the said Toyota Rav 4 and paid GHC1,400.00 to the victim for use of the said SUV for two days under the guise of using the said SUV to meet and pick up his brother who was arriving from abroad at the Kotoka International Airport on the night of A
pril 29, 2024.

He said as soon as the victim left them, Abban, Yeboah, Mensah and Yaw convened and decided to sell the SUV at GHC65,000.00, thus, Yeboah contacted Ahmed and informed him about the SUV and requested for a ‘dishonestly receiver’.

Ahmed, prosecution said arranged for a ‘dishonestly receiver’ to meet and buy the SUV the following day after, agreeing on GHC50,000.00.

Chief Inspector Bashiru said PID/Accra Region gathered intel about the plot and thwarted that move to sell the stolen car by arresting Abban, Yeboah, and Ahmed at the point of sale at Odogonor Senior High School who had attempted to escape.

In their quest to escape arrest, Abban, who was in the driver’s seat of the SUV vehicle run over a motorbike used by PID for the operation and tried speeding off, but PID fired live shots to immobilize the SUV and subdue Abban and Yeboah who were both in the SUV, the Court heard.

Prosecution said Abban and Yeboah sustained various degrees of injury and were rushed to a medical facility for medi
cal attention, where Abban was treated and discharged but Yeboah was on admission.

Chief Inspector Bashiru said Abban later led PID/Accra Region to a guesthouse at Buduburam where Mensah was lodging, and he was also arrested in his hotel room.

He said the victim, Appiah, was later traced and invited to the station to assist investigations.

Efforts have been intensified to arrest other members of the syndicate, the Court was told.

Meanwhile, the Court has asked prosecution to produce evidence of Yeboah’s ill-health.

Source: Ghana News Agency