A Tamale circuit court presided over by His Honour Kolofa Addae has remanded three Turks into prison custody to reappear on July 17, 2009.
The three foreign nationals who are facing charges of conspiracy to steal and allegedly stealing were arrested by their victim and handed over to the Northern Regional Police Command. It was alleged that they were engaged in ‘Sakawa’ and swindled a number of shell shops, Mobil Marts and supermarkets of their items and cash in the Tamale Metropolis.
The cups of Usuf Cavusugllar, 23, Kaya Thurgat, 28, and Murat Altuntas, also 28, became full when they tried exhibiting their ‘Sakawa’ powers on the salesgirl at the Sakasaka Shell Shop. Unknown to them, the owner had earlier become a victim of their scam at his Hospital Road shop and was tracking them down. The three, before their arrival in the region a week ago from the nation’s capital, were believed to have duped other persons of various sums of money under similar instances. The modus operandi of the three, according to the police, was entering the premises of their prey under the guise of buying certain items.
While interacting with the shop attendants, they would disclose that they were strangers in the country and required some education on the various currency denominations of the country. They would then hold the monies, feel the texture, and thereafter, either buy something less than GH¢1 or buy nothing at all. After their departure, monies mysteriously got missing from the sales box. At other instances, it was alleged they tried buying MTN recharge cards worth GH¢7.50 from one of the shops, but when the salesgirl served them, they held it, looked at it, and returned it for a GH¢2 card.
Hours after their departure, it was detected that 10 pieces of GH¢7.50 and 7 pieces of GH¢5.00 MTN recharge cards had disappeared from the stalls, by which time they had also vanished into the thin air. Their cover was however blown when they went to the Sakasaka Shell Shop to take their booty before leaving for Sunyani, according to them. Upon entering the shop, Yusif Sadik, manager of the shop, noticed their presence and cautioned the salesgirl to be more vigilant, informing her that they had succeeded in duping the salesgirl in the other shop.
They cunningly tried pulling a fast one on the salesgirl but were caught and reported to the manager who invited them into his office where they admitted to the offense and disclosed that they were behind similar incidents in other shops. The trio begged the manager to spare them and allow them to pay for the cost of whatever had been lost in the process, but he refused to take their plea, locked them in his office and immediately made a report at the police station. But for the timely intervention of the military patrol team, the foreigners would have been lynched by the crowd that had gathered at the shop to catch a glimpse of them. They were immediately whisked to the police station and placed behind bars for their caution statements to be taken while investigations were ongoing.
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