Written by Emelia Ennin Abbey
Another man is in the grip of the police for allegedly using Tonaton.com, a free online marketplace, to defraud a Madina- based businessman.
Aikins Kwabena Afful, 38, was arrested by the Commercial Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service after being on the run for nearly three months.
The Director of the Commercial Crime Unit, Superintendent of Police, Mr Felix Korku Mawusi, told the Daily Graphic that the suspect was standing trial for a similar offence but had been granted bail.
“The suspect takes advantage of the Tonaton.com platform to perpetrate his nefarious activities,” he said.
Meeting in a hotel
According to Mr Mawusi, in December 2014, the suspect saw an unregistered Nissan Rogue Vehicle valued at GH¢63, 000 displayed on Tonaton.com for sale and expressed interest in it.
Afful, he said, called the owner of the vehicle whose mobile phone number was also advertised and negotiated the price of the vehicle and was able to get a discount of GH¢7, 000.
He said the owner of the vehicle, Mr Saliu Adams Larry, agreed to drive the vehicle from Madina to a HOTEL NEAR the Tesano Police Station, where Afful claimed he would meet him.
At the scheduled point, Afful introduced a third person, Alex Ato Ackaah, as the actual buyer after which the two of them asked the owner of the vehicle to permit them to test-drive it.
After driving for a while, Ackaah, who was lodging in the hotel went into his room while Afful demanded the documents covering the vehicle from the owner with the explanation that Ackaah wanted to examine them.
Suspect sells car
On receiving the document, Afful allegedly handed them over to Ackaah and demanded Gh¢30, 000 as payment for the vehicle.
Afful then issued a receipt stating the amount paid and handed over the keys of the vehicle to Ackaah.
“He then walked out of the HOTEL ROOM and headed out of the hotel, acting as if he was directing someone to come and meet him at the hotel,” he said.
Mr Larry sat in the HOTEL AND waited for Afful to return with either his money or the car keys and documents. He later found out that Afful had sold the vehicle and left.
“When Afful walked out of the hotel, he went into hiding until he was arrested on Thursday, February 19, 2015, after nearly three months of playing hide-and-seek with the police,” Mr Mawusi said.
The suspect, he said, had been charged with defrauding by false pretence.
Last week, the Daily Graphic reported that a man identified as Bernard Asiedu, a member of a gang suspected to be using Tonaton.com to defraud people, was arrested by the Legon Police on Friday, February 13, 2015, when he went to the bank to withdraw money believed to have been paid into the account of the gang by one of their victims.
The Police are still hunting for the leader of the gang, Sampson Amevi.