An Accra High Court has sentenced a trader to six years imprisonment in hard labour for defrauding a Ghana Revenue Authority official of GHC50,000.
Edward Kotey, aka Niiquaye, who deals in the sale of used cars at Kaneshie, and his accomplice, Kofi Owusu Hayford, collected GHC50,000 from the complainant, Prince Owusu Amankwah, under the pretext of selling to him a 2010 Model of RAV 4 vehicle but failed.
The court, presided over by Mrs Lydia Osei Marfo, at the end of the trial, found Kotey guilty on a charge of abetment of crime and sentenced him accordingly.
It issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Hayford, a pensioner, who abetted with Kotey to defraud the complainant. Hayford was granted bail but he absconded.
The court further directed the complainant to take steps to get his money back.
Prosecution, led by Mr Seth Awere, Principal State Attorney, narrated earlier that in the latter part of 2015, an uncle of Mr Amankwah, known as Fred Fosu, who resided at Obuasi, requested the complainant to buy him a Toyota RAV 4, 2010 model, which was on sale at a website known as Tonaton.com.
Prosecution said Amankwah spoke to one of the suspects on phone on November 3, 2015 and the suspect told him that the vehicle costed GHC60,000.
It said the accused agreed to send his errand boys, who would bring along the car to Capital Court at North Kaneshie, for the complainant to inspect and take pictures and send to his uncle.
Mr Awere said Mr Amankwah’s uncle after receiving the pictures of the vehicle agreed to buy it and on November 6, 2015, the complainant’s uncle sent GHC50, 000 as part payment.
Mr Amankwah met Hayford at the Kaneshie branch of the National Investment Bank and handed over the money to him.
Prosecution said Hayford then handed over the documents of the vehicle bearing the name Edward Kotey as the owner.
After the payment, prosecution said Hayford, Mr Amankwah and one Raymond went to the house of Hayford to collect his (Hayford’s) passport pictures.
When Hayford and Raymond entered the house, they never returned and when the complainant proceeded to Capital Court where the vehicle was packed, it was nowhere to be found.
Hayford and Raymond also refused to pick the complainant’s calls and later their phones were switched off.
Prosecution said the complainant reported the matter to the police at Kansehie and on November 14, 2015, Kotey was arrested with the vehicle.
It said Hayford was involved in another fraud case at Mile seven Police Station and he was handed over to the Police at Kaneshie on December 14, 2018.
Hayford, in his caution statement, admitted he collected the GHC50,000 from Mr Amankwah.