A 39-year-old unemployed woman who allegedly defrauded an X-ray technician of GH₵32,000.00 was on Wednesday granted a GHc100,000.00 bail by an Accra Circuit Court.
Madam Sylvia Naa Dodua Wristberg allegedly collected the amount under the pretext of securing a Canadian visa for the technician’s wife but failed to deliver on the agreement.
She was charged with defrauding by false pretence and conspiracy to commit a crime. She pleaded not guilty.
The Court presided over by Mrs. Afia Owusuaa Appiah, admitted Wristberg to GH₵100,000.00 bail with two sureties.
It directed that one of the sureties should be justified with landed property.
Meanwhile, her accomplice, Patrick Torto, failed to appear before Court. The Court issued a bench warrant for his arrest. The matter has been adjourned to July 27, 2023.
Police Chief Inspector Samuel Ahiabor, told the Court that the complainant, Mr. Dominic Acquah, was an X-Ray Technician who resided at Agona -Nkwanta in the Western Region.
Wristberg is a resident of Cape Coast in the Central Region.
The prosecution said in April 2023, the complainant through a witness in the case applied for the International Congress for Nurses Conference (ICN), which was scheduled to take place in Canada.
It said the witness submitted the documentation to Kenpong Travel and Tours for biometric enrolment and appointment date at the Canadian Embassy, Accra.
The prosecution said in the same month, the complainant received a phone call from Torto, who introduced himself as the protocol officer at the Office of the President Annex, Ridge -Accra.
It said Torto further said that he was a National Security operative who could assist the complainant by using the letterhead of The Office of the President Annex to secure the visa for his wife.
The prosecution said Torto introduced Wristberg to the complainant as his immediate supervisor.
Wristberg in turn presented herself as an Aide to the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana and assured the complainant of her preparedness to use her office to secure the visa for his wife to attend the conference.
It said Torto invited the complainant to the office of the President Annex and met him at the car park.
The prosecution said Torto demanded GH₵20, 000 as payment for Wristberg to secure the visa.
It said Torto went with the complainant to Kenpong Travel and Tour to deliver relevant documents with the promise to facilitate the processing of the visa.
The prosecution said the complainant gave his wife’s passport to Torto and made a mobile money payment of GH₵10,000.00 to Wristberg’s number.
It said Wristberg and Torto demanded and collected a total of GH₵32,000 from the complainant through Wristberg’s mobile money number on various occasions.
The prosecution said Wristberg and Torto, in their dealings with the complainant, convinced him that they were in a position to secure the visa for the wife to travel.
It said Wristberg and Torto convinced the complainant to have his wife come to Accra to gain some travel experience as part of the requirement for obtaining the visa.
The prosecution said Wristberg bought a flight ticket for a round trip from Accra to Takoradi to enable the complainant’s wife to gain that travel experience.
Wristberg and Torto later told the complainant that they had secured the Canadian visa and asked him to collect the wife’s passport on May 20, 2023.
However, on the said date, Wristberg and Torto could not be contacted on their cell phones.
The prosecution said the complainant followed up to the Office of the President Annex at Ridge, Accra only to realise that Wristberg and Torto’s identities were fake, and they were on the wanted list of the National Security, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a series of similar fraudulent acts.
It said on May 31, 2023, personnel from the Ministry of National Security, Accra through intelligence arrested Wristberg in Cape Coast.
Torto, who was with Wristberg at the time of her arrest, managed to escape.
The prosecution said the complainant identified Wristberg as one of the people who defrauded him.
It said efforts were underway to get Torto arrested for investigations.
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