A businessman has found himself on the wrong side of the law after swindling his Church members of cash totaling GHȼ15,450.00.
Sylvester Twumasi-Ankrah, allegedly held himself as a military officer, convinced the victims that he could get them recruited into any of the security agencies and succeeded in duping them of their monies.
He was on Wednesday put before a Kumasi Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Samuel Ansah, to answer the charge of defrauding by false pretenses.
He pleaded not guilty to the offence and was granted GHȼ100,000.00 bail with three sureties, one to be justified.
The accused was ordered to make the next appearance on Wednesday, September 9.
Police Chief Inspector Felix Akowuah, told the court that the victims – eight in number, worship at the Bethany Church at Jamasi, in the Sekyere South District.
He said Twumasi-Ankrah, who resides at Fise, near Amasaman, some time ago suffered a strange ailment and was healed by the founder of the church and decided to join the congregation ever since.
Between May and June this year, he introduced himself to the victims as a Lieutenant in the Ghana Army and boasted that he could get them enlisted into any of the security agencies of their choice within two weeks and they fell for the bait.
He demanded and was paid various amounts of money totalling GH¢15,450.00.
He additionally asked for their passport photographs, birth and school certificates and these were also given to him.
The prosecution said Twumasi-Ankrah went into hiding after collecting the cash and documents until August 21, when one of the victims managed to get through to him on phone.
He enquired about the progress made on the job application and the accused asked for additional cash of GHȼ3,000.00 from each of the eight.
They became suspicious, alerted the police, arranged for him to come for the money at Old-Tafo Las Palmas in Kumasi and was arrested when he showed up. GNA