A businessman is in trouble with the law for allegedly defrauding some foreign investors in a more than $1million gold scam.
According to graphic.com.gh, a bench warrant by an Accra Circuit court has been issued for his arrest after the man, known as Alhaji Siba Yahaya, did not honour a summon to appear before the court.
In his narration in court, the prosecuting officer, Inspector Eric Pobee, said that two United Kingdom investors and their business partners were introduced to Yahaya in 2020 as someone engaged in the trade of gold.
After expressing their interests in purchasing the gold from him, they then traveled to Ghana upon Yahaya’s request, since he requested a face-to-face meeting so they could transact the business more effectively.
The report added that in the company of an accomplice, Samuel Asante – who is now at large, they showed the investors 20 kilogrammes of gold bars and the investors readily showed interest in buying 5 kilos of them.
Yahaya and Samuel then demanded and collected $69,000 as initial part-payment of the value of the gold and promised to export the gold to the investors after presenting them with a receipt.
The delivery point was supposed to be Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, but Yahaya and his accomplice only ended up exporting one kilo of the gold to them.
The report added that they then gave reasons that they could not export the appropriate quantity of gold because of delays in the documentation process by Customs officials at the Kotoka International Airport.
Yahaya however gave assurances to the investors that the rest of the consignment would be sent to them on December 3, 2020, but this did not materialize.
The prosecutor continued that Yahaya then later requested for $130,000, being the outstanding payment for the four kilos of gold, and then another $70,000 as guarantee from the investors so as to send them the rest of the precious mineral.
Following this, Yahaya gave another excuse that due to the closure of international borders, he was not able to get any flight to send the gold to the investors, adding that the waybill to facilitate the export was also rejected by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company.
“Yahaya also claimed the waybill to facilitate the export of the gold could not be accepted by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company, as the quantity was too small, so he would add six additional kilogrammes of gold to bring the total to 10 kilogrammes for easy export.
“On July 17, 2020, Yahaya told the investors he had been arrested by INTERPOL and officials of some security agencies and the gold bars had been confiscated,” the report said.
Yahaya is said to have asked the investors for an extra $300,000 to facilitate the release of the gold to him from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
The investors then sent him the $300,000, bringing the total amount they had sent to him at that point to $1,075,000, but they still did not receive their product.
This, Inspector Eric Pobee told the court, led to his arrest and a charge of conspiracy to defraud by false pretenses, defrauding by false pretenses, and selling and buying minerals without license, were slapped on him.
He was later bailed but failed to appear in court at its next sitting.
Mr. Emmanuel Essandoh, who presided over the case, had no option than to issue the bench warrant following an application by the prosecuting officer.