Passport Con Men Remanded

The three accused persons who were arraigned before an Accra Circuit court for producing 181 fake passports have denied six charges preferred against them.

The three, Moses Lamptey aka OBK, a trader; William Kofi Mensah aka Gaye, a trader and Eric Nyamekye aka Rasta, an artist, pleaded not guilty to the six charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit forgery of official documents contrary to sections 23 (1) and 158 of act 29/60, forgery of official documents contrary to sections158 of act 29/60 and possessing official document, contrary to section 166 of the criminal code, act 29/60.

They were also charged for uttering forged documents, contrary to section 169 of the criminal code act 29/60, forgery of other official documents, contrary to section 159 of criminal code act 29/60 and possession of forged passport contrary to section 52 of 573/2000.

The court, presided over by Aboagye Tandoh, denied bail application from defense counsels and remanded them into lawful custody. They are to reappear on February 12, 2016.

Counsels for the first and second accused persons prayed the court to grant them bail because they were old and hypertensive, arguing that if they remained in detention, they might not be able to take their medications. The judge, however, declined and instructed the investigator in the case to ensure that the two were not in need of anything, especially their drugs.

He also ordered the prosecution to expedite investigation since he was going to rule on the bail application on the next adjourned date. According to the prosecution, the three were in possession of 181 forged Ghanaian, 3 Nigerian, 1 Netherlands, 2 Nigerien, 3 British, 2 South African, 1 Indian and 1 Sierra Leone passports with fake visas, totaling 204.

On January 22, 2016, information received at the Regional Police Command indicates that some people were engaged in falsification of passports and visa documents around Anyaa, Kokomlemle, Bubiashie and Bortianor.

Based on this information, Police embarked on an operation in those areas, where three suspects, namely; Moses Lamptey aka OBK, aged 69, a trader; William Kofi Mensah aka Gaye, aged 58, a trader and Eric Nyamekye, 35, aka Rasta, an artist, were arrested in their various places of abode.

Search conducted on suspect Moses Lamptey revealed one printer, 60 Ghanaian and other national passports, one median camera and one Sanyo recorder.

Search on William Kofi Mensah aka Gaye revealed one hundred and thirty-five (1135) both international and Ghanaian passports, sixty-nine (69) different types of rubber stamps used for visa application, forty-one (41) Police CID clearance forms, forty-one (41) Police CID seals and two (2) Lamination machines.

Search was extended to suspect Eric Nyamekye’s room at Anyaa and Bortianor respectively, which revealed one (1) Toshiba laptop, three (3) coloured Dell printers, one (1) external hp hard drive and five (5) different country types of rubber stamps used for documentation and visas and Binary code chart used in calculating code for fake passport.

All the three suspects admitted the offence of falsification of documents but stated among other things that they make the visa for their clients to outwit the embassy’s creating the impression that they have experience in travelling which the embassy issuing the current visa will not deny them being novice in travelling.

By Maame Agyei Agyeiwaa
([email protected])

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