Two persons, including a banker at the Takoradi branch of the GCB Bank, have been put before an Accra circuit court for conspiring with nine others and allegedly stealing an amount of GH¢1.158 million from the bank.
Ferdinand Kofi Amponsah and Issah Alhassan were charged for conspiracy and 23 counts of stealing from GCB from June to September 2016.
They both pleaded not guilty to all the charges and were subsequently granted bail in the sum of GH¢400,000.00 with four sureties, one of which is to be justified.
As part of the bail conditions, the accused persons are to deposit their passports at the registry of the court and to report to the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) every Wednesday.
A bench warrant has also been issued by the court for the arrest of the nine others at large.
Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Amegah, told the court that Ferdinand is the Corporate Manager of GCB Bank in Takoradi, while Issah is a mechanic and a customer of the bank.
He said between September and November 2016, the management of the bank received complaints from customers about fraudulent withdrawals, which were carried out with cloned cheques drawn on accounts at the bank’s branches in Accra.
He said it was established that while the true account holders had their genuine cheque books intact, replica copies of leaflets bearing the serial numbers of leaflets, which were not yet used by the account holders were procured with forged signatures.
DSP Amegah said, “These cloned leaflets are drawn on the bank and presented at branches outside Accra and various withdrawals made. It was established that four accounts of the bank had fraudulent withdrawals made on them.”
Investigation revealed that Ferdinand even though stationed at Takoradi at the Corporate Banking Department, used his identification number FC07072, which was assigned to him at Mampong, his previous station, to make several enquiries on the accounts prior to or after the cloned cheques were presented.
During police investigations, Ferdinand admitted the offence and told the police that it was upon the request of Issah that he made enquiries on the accounts.
Ferdinand further told the police that he took pictures of signature mandates, cheques book serial numbers and other confidential details of High Valued Account Holders, which he forwarded to Issah and others.
DSP Amega said Ferdinand was not permitted to check or query individual customer accounts of the bank but he was engaged in this activity secretly, in collaboration with Issah and his nine accomplices to steal monies from the bank.
He said between the said dates, it was found that the cloned cheques presented at the various branches of the bank resulted in the theft of GH¢365,100.00.
The fictitious counter cheques resulted in the theft of GH¢422,000.00, while the figure obtained for the fictitious payment order resulted in the theft of GH¢184,448,000.00.
Additionally an amount of GH¢48,000.00 was stolen by means of fraudulent transfers from one of the affected accounts.
He said out of the audit report compiled by the public accounts committee, the act engaged in by the accused persons and their accomplices at large resulted in the theft of an amount of GH¢1.158 million from the bank during the period as contained in the charge sheet.
Ferdinand also admitted receiving an unspecified sum of money from Issah. Ferdinand has also built two houses at Adenta and Kasoa, which were suspected to have been built with proceeds from the crime.