fake currency gang arrested at airport
The National Security has busted a-13-member gang involved in
the printing and distribution of fake currency notes to unsuspecting
victims, mostly foreign nationals.
A statement issued by the National Security Secretariat, copied to
the Ghana News Agency, said the gang, led by one Yassei Alia,
a 45-year-old Syrian resident at East Legon, and owner of
Hardford Auto Service in Accra, together with Danjuma Zakaria
alias Alhaji Mohammed, 49 and resident of Tema West, were rounded
up in a warehouse within the premises of NacCharter Cargo and
Freight Company, near KLM offices within the Kotoka International
Airport, on Monday, April, 27 at around 5:30 pm.
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Freshly printed $10,000 bundles of fake $100 notes concealed in
two large metal trunks and a suitcase were retrieved from the warehouse.
The statement said the amount was estimated to be
over $5 million United States dollars.
Other suspected accomplices arrested during the operation were
Esther Omozeea, Emad Aldalhi, Kamal Mohammed,
Abdulai Yakubu Osman and Samuel Ababio.
The remaining are John Denyo, Desmond Delali Dumenu, Alike Happiness,
Prosper Chukwu, Victor Israel and Padi Christian Holdbrook.
It said in their caution statements Yassei and Mohammed, who drove
to the warehouse in the former’s car, denied knowledge of the deal.
It noted that, however, when questioned separately, Yassei, who held
a Syrian passport, a Republic of Guinea-Bissau diplomatic passport,
and a Nigerian national driver’s licence issued in Ogun State,
indicated that he had gone to the warehouse to have a discussion
with one Kojo, an alleged cargo dealer and operator of the premises,
regarding a V8 engine the latter was to import on his behalf,
while Alhaji Mohammed stated that he had gone to solicit for financial
help from Kojo to enable him to procure a vehicle from Holland.
The statement said further, while Yassei claimed Kojo sat in
a meeting with them on the said day, Alhaji Mohammed indicated
that Kojo was not at the premises at the time of their visit and
that while waiting for him, they were arrested.
It said incidentally, two of the suspects interrogated separately
corroborated Mohammed’s claim that Kojo was not seen
at the premises on the said day.
“The group’s modus operandi, according to intelligence, suggest that
they lure unsuspecting victims with claims that they have access to
millions of US dollars in Libya,” the statement said.
“Victims are given genuine sums of US dollars to spend for free,
as a proof of the genuineness of the deal.”
It noted that once convinced, victims were requested to deposit huge
sums of USD dollars as freight charges to aid the shipment of
the said dollars to the victims.
It said upon receipt of amount, the suspects package fake dollars
stashed in between a few hundreds of genuine notes,
for onward delivery to their victims.
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It said officials of National Security had assured Ghanaians that
the government was determined to rid the country of fake currency
syndicates and warned that persons involved in the illegality
would be arrested and dealt with accordingly.
The National Security has, therefore, urged the public to report suspicious
activities of persons to security agencies to aid their arrest and prosecution.
Meanwhile, investigations continue.