The Kasoa Akweley District Court, presided over by His Worship Stephen Ofori Akrasi, has granted bail to a serial mobile money (MoMo) fraudster operating in Kasoa and its neighbouring areas in the Central Region.
The suspect faces a charge of falsely obtaining electronic payments, in violation of Section 119 of the Electronic Transactions Act 2008, Act 772.
Multiple mobile money vendors in the Kasoa Municipality have fallen victim to the tactics employed by Emmanuel Dawson, a 33-year-old taxi driver residing in Opeikuma, a suburb of Kasoa.
Dawson’s modus operandi involves initiating a small transaction with MoMo vendors and then requesting the contact information of the business owner, feigning interest in a substantial transaction.
He then copies the WhatsApp display picture of the business owner, creates a new WhatsApp account using that image, and initiates a conversation involving himself, the unsuspecting vendor, and the vendor, posing as the business owner.
In this elaborate scheme, Dawson convinces the vendor to transfer money to another MoMo account, from which he later withdraws the funds.
His arrest came after he defrauded a female vendor of GH¢2,500.00, prompting a week-long investigation by the police intelligence unit under DSP Alex Obiri Yeboah.
Numerous victims have come forward to testify against the suspect since his arrest, prompting a series of hearings at the Kasoa district police command.
Despite the gravity of the charges, the Kasoa Akweley District Court granted Dawson bail in the amount of GH¢20,000.00.
This bail comes with the condition of providing two sureties, including one with a verified landed property, to be confirmed by a government worker earning no less than GH¢2,000.00 per month.
Michael Lartey, legal counsel for the accused, who pleaded not guilty, argued for bail on the grounds that Dawson poses no flight risk and has a well-established and permanent place of residence.
Lartey also emphasized that all offenses are eligible for bail.
The judge’s decision to grant bail acknowledges the impact of MoMo fraud on the economy. The bail’s purpose is to ensure the protection of the suspect’s rights.
The denial of bail could lead to unwarranted assumptions of guilt, especially considering the judge’s upcoming leave.
Akosua Okyere, a victim of this grand scheme, said she had to pay back the money taken away by the fraudster since her boss is demanding it.
“This guy defrauded me at a shop in Kasoa and till now, I am still paying back. His grand scheme is tricky and is easy for anyone to fall victim,” Akosua Okyere said.
The case is scheduled for continuation on November 6, 2023.