A policeman in uniform and wielding an AK47 rifle was caught in the web of ’sakawa’ last Wednesday, when he and two civilians were arrested for allegedly defrauding a Namibian of $7,900.
The policeman and his civilian accomplices were in the process of collecting another $29,000 from the victim to be used to pay taxes on a so-called $30-million facility which they claimed he could access after the payment of the “taxes”, when the police arrested them.
The three suspects managed to lure their victim to Ghana with the intention of defrauding him in a ’sakawa’ scam that has become notorious in the country.
The victim possessed documents, including letterheads bearing the Ghana Coat of Arms, indicating correspondence between him and the suspects through the Internet.
After the victim had arrived in the country, the suspects collected his passport from him but he declined a hotel accommodation offered by his hosts and arranged for an alternative accommodation.
Later at a meeting with the Namibian, the suspects succeeded in collecting $7,900 from him as part of the tax obligation needed to redeem the $30-million facility.
Subsequently, they attempted to relocate the victim to another hotel, while trying to collect another $29,000 from him, but he became worried when they refused to give his passport back to him.
The Namibian then discussed the issue with the hotel manager who, smelling something fraudulent, asked the victim to feign interest, while they contacted the police.
Following the discussion with the hotel manager the Namibian informed his hosts that he needed his passport to enable him to check out of the hotel.
So on Wednesday, while the suspects had gone to the hotel to evacuate their guest, police officers in plain clothes swooped on them and effected their arrest.
At the time of their arrest, the policeman involved was waiting in a vehicle they had brought to convey the victim and according to sources, there was a struggle between the plain clothed policemen and the police suspect as he attempted to resist arrest.
Sources at the Criminal Investigation Department of the police have confirmed the arrest of the three suspects but would not give further details, particularly their identities.