A Nigerian trader accused of impersonating three Ministers of State to defraud victims of monies of over GH¢10,000 has appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
Vivian Sajida Imran and her husband Prince Joel, now at large, are said to have used the names of the Ministers of state to defraud two victims of over GHS10,000.00 under the pretext of securing them jobs.
Vivian and her husband Joel portrayed to the victims that they could secure jobs for them at COC0BOD, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Ghana Gas Company Limited.
They are alleged to have collected GHS6,000.00 from one Seth Samuel Tetteh to provide him with a job at TOR and five others of different sums of monies for job opportunities at COCOBOD and Ghana Gas Company Limited.
They, therefore, impersonated Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Henry Quartey, Deputy Minister, National Security by creating Facebook accounts to defraud their victims.
The Court presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh granted Vivian bail in the sum of GHS12,000.00 with two sureties one of whom should not be earning less than GHS1,500.00 a month.
Vivian pleaded not guilty to eight counts of falsely pretending to be a public officer and defrauding by false pretence.
She is expected to reappear on June 3.
Detective Sergeant Frederick Sarpong told the court that the complainant is an operative of the National Security.
He said Vivian is a trader, while Joel who is currently at large is the husband of Vivian.
According to the prosecution, the victims in the case live across the country.
Detective Sergeant Sarpong said during the month of April, Vivian and Joel used the names of Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and Henry Quartey, to create multiple Facebook accounts and pretended to be ministers.
According to him, Vivian and Joel in their online chats and phone calls with the victims informed them that they could secure them with employment at TOR, Ghana Gas or and COCOBOD.
Detective Sergeant Sarpong said, Vivian and Joel further requested the victims to pay the various amount of money to MTN mobile money accounts for application forms and interviews.
“The monies amounting to GHC10, 277.00 were paid to MTN mobile numbers 0242774965 and 0551047196 and later transferred into Vivian’s mobile money number 0248024471.
The Prosecution said, “The honourable ministers who later had wind of activities of the accused persons informed the National security and Vivian and Joel were tracked to their house at Ashaiman Jericho where she was arrested but Joel managed to escape”.
The prosecution said a search conducted in the room of Vivian and Joel revealed six mobile phones including the three mobile money numbers used to receive the monies from their victims.
He said “an order of the court was sought and a forensic examination was carried out on the retained mobile phones. One of the retained mobile phones was found to contain MTN SIM number 0248024471 registered in the name of Vivian.”
According to Prosecution, the same number was found to be the final destination where the money obtained from the victims were transferred to and later withdrawn.
The prosecution said in Vivian’s investigative cautioned statement she admitted being the owner of that number being 0248024471.
The prosecution said when the victims were later contacted and they narrated their ordeal to the Security agents.
The Prosecution said intensive efforts were underway to track Joel who is still at large.