A parliamentary candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC) in the 2012 general election, Humni Sinari, has been arrested by the Madina Police for allegedly defrauding a Member of Parliament (MP) of GH¢180,000 under the pretext of selling an abandoned filling station at Dome to the MP.
Three accomplices — Kojo Opoku, 40, a carpenter; Kofi Sarkodie, also known as Yusif Seidu, 37, a caretaker, and Ernest Kofi, 50, a trader — who acted as assistants to Humni Sinari have also been arrested.
The suspects are currently assisting the police in investigations.
According to Superintendent Joseph Owusu-Bempah, the Madina District Police Commander, the Deputy Manager of the Tudu branch of the SG/SSB had also been invited by the police to explain how an amount of GH¢180,000 paid on Saturday, February 16, 2013 was cleared the same day by the main suspect.
He said the whole incident started some time in January this year when Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, had a call from one Kojo Opoku, who informed the MP that he had bought the Engen Petrol Filling Station at Dome from its owner, Madam Grace Omaboe, and that he (Opoku) was offering it for sale.
Mr Forson, who is also the owner of Omega Energy Limited, expressed interest in the filling station.
After a series of exchanges between Opoku and the complainant, Mr Forson inspected the property.
During the inspection of the property, he met Sarkodie, who corroborated what Opoku had said and even gave the MP Madam Grace Omaboe’s phone number to confirm their claim.
Apparently, instead of Grace Omaboe’s number, Sarkodie and Opoku gave Humni Sinari’s mobile phone to the MP.
When the MP called her, Sinari introduced herself as a teacher and owner of the property and confirmed that she had given it to Opoku to look for buyers, since she needed money for other projects.
They negotiated the price of the property and settled on GH¢480,000.
During the course of the negotiations, suspect Sinari told the MP that she was the firstborn of Alhaji Sadik Sinari, Ghana’s Ambassador to Egypt under the First Republic.
That introduction was said to have convinced the MP that he was dealing with a genuine person.
Supt. Owusu-Bempah said the MP decided to seal the deal and, therefore, made an initial payment of GH¢180,000 into the account of Sinari’s account at the Tudu Branch of the SG/SSB on Saturday, February 16, 2013.
Sinari was said to have withdrawn all the GH¢180,000 from her account that same day.
The following day, which was a Sunday, when the MP went to take ownership of the property, he learnt that the woman to whom he had paid the money was not the real owner of the property.
He was then taken to the residence of the real owner, Madam Omaboe, who explained that although she was offering the place for sale, nobody had shown any interest.
At that stage, the MP realised that he had been swindled and so he called Sinari and asked her to come for the rest of the money.
Before that, he had alerted the police, and so, as soon as Sinari arrived the police arrested her.
When a bag she was carrying was searched, GH¢20,000 was found in it.
However, upon interrogation, she claimed that after cashing the money from the bank, she handed it over to Ernest Kofi.
The police traced Ernest Kofi to his house at Adenta and arrested him.
After initial interrogations, Kofi also claimed that he had given the money to an Alhaji to double it for him but the man absconded with the money.
Supt Owusu-Bempah said it was unlikely that they had used the money as they claimed.
Investigations are ongoing, after which the suspects would be put before court.
Source: Daily Graphic