23rd July, 2010
A Nigerian pastor, Monday Tufe Kpanoko, has been arrested by personnel of the Vetting and Crime Analyses (VCA) Unit of the Ghana Police Service for fraud.
The 43-year-old self-styled apostle, who is a member of the Evangelistic Vine Ministry at Nungua, Accra, was arrested on July 20, 2010 for dubbing documents on the internet containing some exploration works of Newmont Gold Ghana Limited and using it to defraud a Canadian investor.
According to the Director of VCA, Superintendent Denis Ako-Dem Abade, Kpanoko posed as a Ghanaian businessman who had a gold concession at Nyafoman in the Eastern Region for sale.
Using the name Michael Frimpong, he managed to contact one Canadian investor via the internet to buy the concession at the cost of $10 million.
The man had also successfully obtained a Ghanaian passport with the name Felix Azuma and traveled severally outside the country with it.
The Director said his outfit had been monitoring the suspect after receiving complaints from the company that one Michael Frimpong was in possession of their exploration works and using the information to lure foreign investors into the country.
Kpanoko aka Frimpong is said to have convinced his victim that he had gold concession worth $10 million and was scouting for prospective clients.
Unfortunately for Kpanoko, his unsuspecting victim in Canada contacted a compatriot, who is a local employee of Newmont Gold Ghana, over his intention to buy the said concession of the company.
It was at this point that the victim, who had then sent some $500, upon Frimpongâ€™s request to cater for some miscellaneous expenses, realised he was dealing with a fraudster.
He then liaised with his friend in Ghana to carry on with all further arrangements with the intention of getting the police to arrest Frimpong.
A meeting was arranged between the two at East Legon for further discussions on the investment, where the victim was also to pay a commitment fee of $200,000 (two hundred thousand dollars).
The police, who had then mounted surveillance in the area, popped up and arrested suspect Kpanoko.
During interrogation, Kpanoko admitted to the offence and indicated that he forged the documents to lure the investor into the country to invest.
The police boss said ongoing investigations had revealed that Kpanoko had contacted several other foreigners and duped them through similar means.
A search in his house revealed a Ghanaian passport and a visa electronic card bearing the name Felix Azuma, as well as Western Union Money Transfer receipts indicating various sums of money he had collected from unsuspecting victims abroad.
He would soon be arraigned when the police complete their investigations.