An Accra Circuit Court has granted an estate developer GH¢1,000,000.00 bail with five sureties for allegedly defrauding a farmer of US$270,000 under the guise of selling him a three-bedroom apartment.
The court ordered that all sureties be gainfully employed and that the accused, Raymond Maglo, deposit his travel documents with the Court’s Registry.
The court further directed the complainant, Ernest Danso, to liaise with one Nana Osei Nketia’s (second accused) lawyer, who stated in open court that he could assist the complainant to gain access to his property.
Maglo, 43, pleaded not guilty to forgery and defrauding by false pretences, while Nketia, 52, was charged with offensive conduct and unlawful entry.
Meanwhile, Maglo’s alleged accomplice, Nketia, a property manager, was not in court. His counsel told the court, presided over by Mr Samuel Bright Acquah, that he was not within the court’s jurisdiction.
They will make their next appearance before the court on September 26, 2023.
Superintendent of Police Augustine A. Yirenkyi told the court that Danso is a commercial farmer residing at Community 18, Tema.
Maglo and Nketia, he said, resided in Airport Hills and Dzorwulu, respectively.
Nketia, according to Superintendent Yirenkyi, is the property manager at GSELL Real Estate Company Limited, which owns five apartment buildings within the Airport Residential Area, Accra.
Maglo, besides his occupation, acts as an agent for GSELL Real Estate Company Limited.
On March 16, 2021, Danso purchased a three-bedroom apartment at Airport Residential Area from GSELL Real Estate Company Limited through Maglo for USD270,000.00.
According to the prosecution, Danso made full payment on the property to Maglo, who deposited USD145,000.00 into the accounts of GSELL Real Estate Company Limited.
The Court heard that based on the payment, Maglo issued a sales and purchase agreement letter and a Deed of Assignment covering the apartment to Danso, who took possession and occupied the property.
Superintendent Yirenkyi said on March 26, 2023, at 1830 hours, Danso visited the apartment and discovered that Nketia had removed and changed the locks and denied him access to the unit and other property within it for no apparent reason.
He said Danso reported the matter to the police, which led to Nketia’s arrest. Nketia denied being aware of the sale of the apartment to Danso through Maglo.
Maglo was apprehended for questioning and admitted in a cautioned statement that he received USD270,000.00 from Danso for the sale of the apartment but forged the property owner’s signature to prepare a fake and fraudulent Sales and Purchase agreement, as well as the Deed of Assignment that he handed to the complainant.
Danso returned to the apartment three days later while the case was still being investigated and discovered that Nketia had returned and changed the locks for the second time, allowing new tenants to occupy the apartment despite his belongings being kept there.
In the process of investigations, Maglo refunded USD40,000.00 to the police which is retained for evidential purposes.