2 Conmen Nabbed

The swift response to a distress call by the police on Thursday led to the arrest of two alleged confidence tricksters, believed to have defrauded a South African business woman of 200,000 dollars. In an apparent desperate and confused state, the woman, Joyce Tsitsi, put in a call to the Times newsroom and asked for assistance for the arrest of three men who had defrauded her. �The Times called the police who started the hunt for the suspects. Two of them, identified as Steve Watts Owusu and Evans Odoom, were soon located driving around down-town Accra in a sleek four-wheel drive and arrested. The Accra Regional Police Command holding the two in custody for questioning, while they continue to look for the third suspect, named Victor Taylor, who claims to be the son of former Liberian Leader, Charles Taylor. Owusu and Odoom are said to be directors of an import/export/mining venture, Tegiva Company Limited. Narrating her ordeal to the Times, Joyce Tsitsi, said about three years ago, she met Victor Taylor who told her that his father had left some gold in Ghana and solicited her assistance to export it to Dubai for sale to sustain him and the family. She said on their subsequent meeting in Ghana on January 29, 2012 she demanded relevant documentation from him to ascertain the veracity of his claim before she could deal with him1 According to Tsitsi, Taylor produced a statutory declaration allegedly issued by a Notary Public of the Superior Court of Judicature to the effect that he was a Liberian national and owned 215 kilogrammes of alluvial concentrated gold dust deposited with Tegiva Company Limited which was acquired from family resources. According to her, the statutory declaration also said the gold ore was free from liens and encumbrances of non criminal origin, and was transferable, exportable and non radioactive material. In addition, Ms. Tsitsi said Taylor produced among other documents, his alleged birth certificate as well as sample analysis and pictures of the gold and the Tegiva Company where the alleged gold had been deposited. She said having been convinced about Taylor�s claim, she signed a memorandum of understanding with Owusu, one of the directors of Tegiva which claimed to have stored 215 kilogrammes of the gold dust with the purity of 95.33. Ms. Tsitsi explained that she entered into another agreement with Taylor and Owusu under which the gold dust would be shipped to Dubai and Tegiva Company would be entitled to 20 per cent of the total value of the product after it had been exported to the refinery and final assay made to determine the market value. She said following these agreements, she transferred various sums of money totaling 193,500 dollars to meet the cost of shipment and documentation, cost o storage, test of sample and other incidentals for which Owusu issued receipts in the presence of Odoom; another director of the company. She said what aroused her suspicion was when the three men failed to meet her demand to see the gold before shipment. �I became suspicious because after several demands the men could not produce the gold they claimed they have stored for shipment�. Ms. Tsitsi said she also observed that at their meeting, Owusu and Odoom referred to Taylor variously as Samuel, Solomon and Sampson �and that left me with no doubt in my mind that I was being defrauded. �I was therefore left with no option but to call for help to report the matter to the police,� she said. Accra Regional Police Command sources told the Times last Friday that caution statements had been taken from the suspects as part of on-going investigations.