File photo: Crime

A driver, who took huge sums of money from seven victims under the pretext of securing United Kingdom (UK) visas for them but failed, has been remanded into police custody by an Accra Circuit Court.

Mark Frimpong Kwakye, aged 38, is said to have collected GHS 81,100, $1,500 and £3,000 to secure UK visas for five out of the seven victims but failed.

Again, the accused collected USD 500,000 and £6,500 from two other persons under the pretext of establishing an online TV station and to purchase a Toyota Hilux vehicle for them.

Kwakye, charged on seven counts of defrauding by false pretense, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Isaac Acquandah, said investigations were ongoing. The court, presided over by Sam Bright Acquah, therefore, remanded Kwakye into police custody to reappear on July 14, 2022.

Chief Inspector Acquandah told the court that the complainants, Grace Acheampong, Charles Owusu Adusei and Noah Kwabena Ofori were Ghanaians domiciled in the UK while Daniel Nuamoah Fofoe, Cynthia Osei Bonsu and Kwame Gyamh were residents in Ghana.
The prosecution said Kwakye was a driver and a resident of Lapaz.

Chief Inspector Acquandah said in 2018, Acheampong saw an advert of a travel and tour holidays event on Kumasi online TV station

The accused person, who was the host of a programme on the said TV station, said anyone interested in travelling or touring any of the European countries should contact him on his MTN numbers.

The prosecution said Acheampong got interested and in the late 2018, she came to Ghana and met the accused person.

The accused person allegedly confirmed that the travel and tour business was genuine and showed her some travelling documents belonging to other applicants who, he said were about to travel to Europe in a few days.

Chief Inspector Acguandah said in 2019, Grace Acheampong introduced other complainants to the accused person.

The prosecution said the accused person demanded the various sums of monies as stated as processing fees to secure UK visas for them.

It said in 2020, the accused person informed Grace Acheampong that the online TV business was also lucrative and collected money from her to establish one for her but failed.

Chief Inspector Acguandah said the accused person again collected another amount from Adusei to purchase a Toyota for him.

The prosecution said the accused person who then relocated to Acheampong’s house in Accra left without notice, switched off all his phones and went into hiding.

Chief Inspector Acguandah said a complaint was later lodged with the police.

On July 2, 2022, Acheampong arrived in Ghana to visit her family and while in town, she spotted the accused person and caused his arrest and handed him over to the police for investigation.

In the accused person’s cautioned statement, he admitted the offences.