A pastor and two others are facing as many as 102 counts of conspiracy to commit crime and defrauding by false pretences.
Pastor Joel Aaron-King of the Teshie branch of the Christ Apostolic Church and two accomplices are being tried for allegedly defrauding 400 traders of more than GH¢40,000 (¢400million)under the pretext of securing for them loans from Barclays Bank.
They appeared before an Accra circuit court on Tuesday, October 6.
The accomplices are Edward Mensah Tio, a cashier and Samuel Bortey, an Information Technology Auditor and Director of Centre for World Business Limited, a Susu company.
They pleaded not guilty and were granted GH¢200,000 bail each with two sureties to appear again on October 21.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Jubiok Michaels, told the crowded court that the three accused persons, who operate a Susu company, Centre for World Business, at Teshie, between January and August this year met over 400 traders (complainants) at their various selling points at Teshie.
The accused allegedly told the traders that they were owners of a Susu company in the area and explained that if they (traders) could deposit from as little as GH¢1.00 up to GH¢50.00 into the company’s account, they would be assisted to benefit from a Barclays Bank loan to expand their small businesses.
With this assurance, Inspector Jubiok said the complainants became interested and quickly mobilised various sums of money amounting to GH¢40,000 which was deposited into the company’s account as directed.
After collecting these monies, the accused gave the assurance that Barclays Bank was processing the loans by the second week in August this year; there would be smiles on their faces as the money would be ready for collection.
The prosecution said after the second week in August elapsed there was no sign of the good tidings in sight, whereupon some of the traders trooped to the offices of the susu company only to have their hopes dashed when they met the office firmly under lock and key.
The frustration of the traders led them to arrest Edward and he was handed over to the Nungua Police station for interrogation.
The prosecution told the court that after hearing of the arrest of Edward, Pastor Aaron King and Samuel went into hiding, but were later arrested and after investigations, the three were accordingly charged and arraigned before the court.
Source: The Spectator
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