BUSTED! William (left) and Eric
Police have unmasked a league of cyber fraudsters, otherwise known as ‘Sakawa Boys’, who has over the years specialized in defrauding foreigners under various pretexts.
Two of the suspects- William Quansah, 20, and Eric Kofi alias Sadat Abdulai, 29 – are currently on remand while efforts are underway to track down Godfred Adjei alias Junior, the key player in the scam.
The cover of the three was blown after the one of them posed as husband of a victim sojourning in Ghana and succeeded in defrauding the American-Canadian by name Braenda Liouise Branton, 54, of $37,000.
According to the facts of the case, the three conspired and hacked into the email of the victim’s husband and interacted with her while she was in Canada, indicating that the husband had secured a lucrative contract to be executed.
According to details of the contract purported to have been awarded by Globacom, a telecommunications company in Ghana, the husband was to build dozens of estates and various structures throughout the country.
The amount involved was believed to be running into several millions of dollars and to succeed in their bid, they demanded that Braenda Liouise Branton send down money to pre-finance the project and forged a number of documents to back the claim.
ON THE RUN! Godfred Adjei and Brenda Liouse Branton
According to information, all this while, Godfred Adjei, currently on the run, posed as the victim’s husband who had been, prior to the execution of the scam, separated from the wife for a number of years.
Convinced her support could reunite them, the victim sold her house and other property valued at $50,000 and sent $35,000 through banker’s draft to the suspects.
Having succeeded in milking the white lady of all her money, they lured her into Ghana under the guise of inspecting work on the ghost or non-existent project sites and also take the opportunity to meet the husband.
On September 2011, she arrived in Ghana and was met at the airport by William Quansah who took her to a hotel around Osu, while Godfred Adjei, on phone, still posed as the husband.
She was later brought to Tamale by suspect Eric Kofi and made to sign several documents purported to have been part of the contractual agreements.
The confisccated car
The suspect, armed with his dubious intention, stormed Bigiza Hotel and booked a room for the poor woman with the promise of paying later.
Free accommodation formed part of the agreement as contained in one of the documents, which gave her the leverage to stay in any hotel of her choice without payment.
He however failed to honour his promise of settling the bill of GH¢11,478, raising suspicion among owners of the hotel.
A complaint was lodged with the police in Tamale and upon his arrest, it was uncovered that the entire deal was a scam, with several others involved. William Quansah later arrested.
A complaint was also lodged by the victim, deepening the woes of the two suspects.
They were last week arraigned before Tamale District Magistrate Court presided over by Augustine Essah on charges of conspiracy of kidnapping, defrauding by false pretences and stealing.
Their pleas were not taken and were remanded into prison custody to reappear on 10th May 2012.
A Kia Sephia saloon car with registration number GS 54-11 with the inscription ‘Cyber Angel’ on the rear windscreen has been retrieved from the suspects.
From Stephen Zoure, Tamale