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Ghanaian Woman Sentenced to Jail for Cyber Fraud, Money Laundering

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A Ghanaian woman has been sentenced to prison by an Accra high court in Ghana for engaging in cyber fraud in collaboration with a Nigerian accomplice.

The Woman, Vida Patty Agboletey was sentenced to 18 months in prison by the high court for conspiring with a Nigerian accomplice to defraud a U.S citizen of an unspecified sum of money.

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Vida Patty Agboletey, had operated under the fraudulent name of Elizabeth Caldwell while her Nigerian accomplice, Chigozie Awom, operated as Davis Wingate.

Both women had duped the U.S citizen of unspecified sums of money as well as other materials, including mobile phones, laptops and digital game consoles between 2012 and 2013.

Ghana’s anti fraud organisation, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) which also deals with cyber crimes in Ghana revealed that Miss Vida’s accomplice was the brain behind the operations while she received the monies and items on their behalf.

They however said they had frozen Miss Vida’s accounts when they noticed lodgements that looked suspicious; at this point she was unable to withdraw the funds anymore.

The High court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, also ordered Miss Vida to pay fine of GHC12,000.00.

The court further ruled that her inability to pay the fine would result in her spending an extra 48 months in prison.

The court also ordered the cyber fraud fighting unit EOCO to transmit US$20,000.00 in the convict’s frozen bank account at Fidelity Bank to the complainant who is a flight attendant on U.S Airways.

The complainant had met the defendant’s accomplice Awom on an online dating site after which the duo established a relationship.

Shortly thereafter the Awom started to demand items and cash from the complainant; Awom borrowed money to allegedly fund a phantom project in Ghana at a point.

Both defendants were convicted of conspiracy to defraud by false pretences as well as money laundering.

Cyber fraud is hitting phenomenal heights among African youth population many of whom are jobless and trapped at the base of the economic ladder.

Several efforts are being taken by anti fraud units organisations on the African continent to combat the growing menace.

A few days back, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI announced the success of a sting operation it carried out in collaboration with the Nigerian Anti-fraud unit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Other anti-fraud units all over the continent are also putting in their best to stem the growing menace of cyber fraud in African countries.

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Yinusa McBrian Momoh is an enthusiastic individual who believes in the greatest good for the greatest number as well as a creative Wordsmith with interests in Management Training, Research, Content Development and Digital Marketing

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