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Six Ghanaian Fraudsters Arrested By US Authorities Over $50 Million

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US Authorities have arrested six Ghanaians based in the USA in connection with their roles in a fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

The six said to be members of a criminal enterprise based in Ghana, allegedly laundered more than $50 million, which primarily consisted of proceeds of fraud schemes from business email compromises, romance scams targeting the elderly, and fraudulent small business loans for COVID-19 relief.

The six through their criminal enterprise are alleged to have committed a series of business email compromises and romance scams against individuals and businesses located across the United States.

A statement released by the United States Department for Justice on Wednesday, February 17, named the suspects as Farouk Appiedu, 35, Fred Asante, 35, Celvin Freeman, 47, Lord Aning, 28, Sadick Edusei Kissi, 24, and Faisal Ali, aka “Clarence Graveley, 34.

It said the six had been perpetrating the frauds since 2013.

According to the statement, four of them collectively controlled more than 45 bank accounts that had deposits totaling approximately $55 million.

The four, Appiedu, Asante, Freeman, and Aning received fraud proceeds from victims of the enterprise in dozens of business bank accounts that they controlled in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.

They opened the bank accounts in the names of companies they claimed to have formed and been purportedly involved in, among other things, automobile sales, food imports and exports, and freight trucking and shipping.

It added that once the proceeds were received by the four in their bank accounts, they withdrew, transported, and laundered the fraud proceeds by using the proceeds to purchase automobiles, food products, and other goods from US-based suppliers and distributors of such products and shipped those products to Ghana and elsewhere.

Kissi is said to have received fraud proceeds from victims of the enterprise in bank accounts that he controlled in the Bronx, New York and elsewhere.

Once he received the fraud proceeds in bank accounts under his control, Kissi withdrew, transported, and laundered those fraud proceeds to other members of the enterprise located in Ghana.

Ali also received fraud proceeds from victims of the enterprise into a series of at least 13 bank accounts at six different banks, which he controlled in the Bronx, New York.

He used the name and identity of another person to open several of those bank accounts in order to conceal the proceeds of the fraud scheme.

Upon receiving the fraud proceeds in the bank accounts under his control, he withdrew, transported, and laundered those fraud proceeds to other members of the enterprise.

Charges

Three of the suspects, Appiedu, Asante, Freeman, and Aning have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Each of them has also been charged with one count of conspiracy to receive stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of receipt of stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Kissi, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, with each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

He has also been charged with one count of conspiracy to receive stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of receipt of stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Ali, has also been charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of making false statements to a bank, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to receive stolen money, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

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Dubai’s Princess Latifa Urges UK Police To Investigate Her Sister’s Kidnapping In London 21 Years Ago

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Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai ruler and UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has sent a letter to police in the UK asking them to investigate the alleged kidnapping of her older sister, Princess Shamsa, from Britain in 2000, 21 years ago.

In a new BBC Panorama documentary, Latifa claimed to be held hostage in Dubai in secret video recordings.

She said she was always guarded in a secret house and was told by security operatives she will never see the sun again.

According to her she has been held hostage since 2018 when she tried to flee the country but was arrested while on sea by Navy commandos.

Now in a letter dated 2018 but released on Thursday, February 25, Latifa says the UK should investigate her sister’s alleged kidnap as she has been ‘missing’ since then.

“In the summer of 2000 Shamsa escaped the family vacation house in England. She was 18 years old … and of sound mind,” Princess Latifa, wrote in a letter sent to CNN by her friend David Haigh, a campaigner for her release and part of Detained International, a legal advocacy NGO.

Dubai

“She was enslaved and oppressed and suffered physical abuse at the hands of family members … She wanted to seek asylum in the UK where she has family permanently living there. After a few months, she was kidnapped … She was dragged from the street kicking and screaming. She was tranquilized and flown back to Dubai,” Latifa wrote in the document dated February 2018.

The princess added her sister was tortured, “kept incommunicado with no release date, trial, or charge.”

“She was tortured by getting her feet caned which is something I experienced myself with my own imprisonment,” she wrote.

“Her ultimate goal is to be an emancipated person, to live with dignity, to have freedom of choice and freedom of movement … She wants the basic rights that all human beings are entitled to,” the princess continued.

The princess said her sister has “strong links to England” and was “abducted in an illegal manner, on UK soil.”

“All I ask of you is to please give attention on her case because it could get her freedom, which is the only thing that she wants in life,” she added.

The letter was obtained and delivered to the police by one of Latifa’s cousins and Haigh.

The botg the of them also submitted a “transcript of a number of video statements from Sheikha Latifa,” which were obtained by “smuggling, with great difficulty and danger, a mobile phone into the Dubai jail of Sheikha Latifa,”

“Contact [with Latifa] was maintained throughout the majority of 2019 and 2020. Contact was lost in the second half of 2020,” Haigh said.

They claims possessing evidence that one British citizen was involved in the kidnapping of Princess Shamsa.

“We were not able to release such evidence previously due to what we believed was an unacceptable risk to the life and safety of Sheikha Latifa. However, now that contact has been lost, we are gravely concerned for her life and safety and decided to take the step to release the evidence obtained,” Haigh added.

Meanwhile the United Arab Emirates embassy in London says
coverage of Latifa’s situation “is not reflective of the actual position”

They claim she is being ‘cared for’ in Dubai.

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“God’s Wrath Will Come On Ghana If LGBTQI is Legalised” : Prophet Kofi Oduro

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Prophet Kofi Oduro is vehemently against the legalization of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGTBI) in Ghana.

In an interview on Peace FM, he stated that legalization would bring the wrath of God on the nation, Ghana.

He said the idea of calling for its legalization in the first place is total ‘madness’ and ‘nonsense’.

The founder and leader of Alabaster International Ministry went ahead to quote bible quotations to prove that God frowns against it.

Listen to him below:

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LGBT+ Rights: I’ve Never Seen A Male Goat Running After Another Male Goat : Haruna Iddrisu

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The Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has added his voice into the debate surrounding the opening of a new community space for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights of Ghana.

According to him, he has never seen a male goat running after a male goat and described the sexual preferences of the LGBT+ community as “dehumanising”.

“I haven’t seen a male goat or a male cow running after a male goat or male cow,” the MP said at the Appointments Committee during the vetting of the Minister-designate of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Awal Mohammed.

He said “There’s a significant development in our culture today about lesbianism and gays and you are a true Muslim; I want to know where you stand because where I stand is that I find it immoral and dehumanizing and not in the context of any Ghanaian culture for a man to be relating to a man, and a woman to be relating to a woman.

“I know where Prof Mike Oquaye stands strongly. He’s anti-lesbianism and gay. As a leader of this house, he stated that publicly; and as a reverend.”

Meanwhile, leaders of the LGBT Rights of Ghana have urged its members not to panic after the police closed down the recently opened office space on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

The group said they will triumph despite a raid of their office by the security personnel.

The new office located at Ashongman in Accra was closed after the landlord of the building and the Kwabenya Traditional Council stormed the apartment of the organization.

The LGBT group in a Facebook post appealed to human rights organisations and allies to come to their aid.

The group said: “While this unfortunate incident has happened, we wish to encourage all our members, and queer Ghanaians to stay calm. Do not panic.

“We anticipated this. We will triumph.

“The police may have raided our office, and closed it down but the real office is in our hearts and minds.”

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