The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has arrested eight persons said to be part of an active ring of fraudsters at McCarthy Hill in Accra.

The operation, led by Defence Intelligence (DI) department of the GAF arrested the group made of up persons from Ghana and four other countries.

“The suspects who were arrested on Saturday, 28th September 2019, included Mohammed Sallam Mohammed, Libyan, 50 years; Hassam Mohammed, Chadian, 39 years; Derrick Salome, Ghanaian, 42 years; Mariam Abdallah, Malian, 39 years; Alhaji Adams Jibrim, Ghanaian, Bawku 46; Alhaji Yakubu, Tepa, Ghana, 70;  and Mobasil Samfo, Burkina Faso, 23 years,” according to a report by Ghana Peace Journal.

The suspects are said to have defrauded many foreigners of several hundred thousands of United States dollars and have been operating from their McCarthy Hill base.

Modus Operandi

The suspected fraudsters inform their victims (who have been identified to come from Belgium, Brazil, etc) that they have containers full of dollars belonging to the late Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi and that they want to dispose of them off.

They then invite the victims to their offices, where they show them some dollars, and afterwards, come into agreement with them, charging them various sums.

After payment, they ship the supposed dollars to the victims’ addresses.

The scammers, who are believed to have worked for at least five years – due to traces of some bank accounts, some as much as $400, 000 – put 50kg of cement bags into metal packs, and ship them to their unsuspecting victims’ addresses, to create the assumption that huge amount of dollars in cash is in the package.

Meanwhile, the dollars would not even accompany the cement bags.

The leader of the group claims he is a Ghanaian from Bawku with parentage from Burkina Faso, but the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) is yet to confirm that claim, reports the online news portal.

The gang, according to the report, operates with Syrians, Libyans, Chadians, Jordanians and others, who have all been arrested.

Deputy Director of Public Relations of the GAF, Lieutenant-Commander Andy La-Anyane, according to the news portal, has said that between July and September 2019 alone, over a million dollars has been transferred into the accounts of the scam operators.

Commander La-Anyane further said that, according to the leader of the ring, the last shipment he made was to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and it passed through Aviance, Kotoka International Airport, so the continuing investigations would seek to unearth all such means through the ports of exits and to plug the loopholes.

As part of the procedure to probe the matter, Commander La-Anyane stated that the suspects will be handed over to the appropriate security agency for them to continue with the investigations and action.

He further urged the general citizenry, to be observant and cooperate with members of the various security services, by giving timely information to help keep the country in good peace and a secured environment for businesses to thrive, citing that in the warehouse, which the scammers used for their operations, there were a number of Ghanaians working there, as security and others, and they should have informed the security agencies earlier.