Two before court for GH¢205,303 power theft

A maintenance supervisor at Forewin Ghana Limited has been put before the Chief Justice’s Special Court for allegedly bypassing the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) meter on the company premises and stealing power valued at GH¢205,303.35.

The accused person, Francis Mensah, who is also the company’s electrician, is alleged to have every month collected GH¢30,000 for the purchase of power for the company’s prepaid meter but bought only GH¢10,000 each month.

Mensah is standing trial with a cashier at Equity Lynx Vending Station, Akushika Mingle, with whom he connived and shared the booty .

While Mensah has been charged with two counts of stealing power and interfering with the distribution system of the ECG without authority, Akushika has been charged with abetment of crime.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court, presided over by Mr Wolanyo Kotoku, granted the two bail in the sum of GH¢80,000, with three sureties, two of whom must be public servants.

ECG investigations
Presenting the facts of the case, the Manager in charge of Prosecutions at the ECG, Mr Paul Assibi Abariga, said the bypass was detected on January 11, 2016 when the ECG task force, on its usual routine checks visited Forewin Ghana.

He said the case was reported to the ECG Investigations Unit, which found that Forewin had been giving GH¢30,000 to Mensah every month to purchase power.

The court heard that Mensah, who was suspected to have carried out the bypass, was arrested.

Mr Abariga said in his caution statement, Mensah denied bypassing the meter but claimed that he was rather not buying the amount of power as issued by the company.

Mensah, according to him, said he and a former Administrative Manager of Forewin, Abdul Yasmin, who passed away in September 2015, had arranged with Akushika to issue receipts for GH¢30,000 worth of credit but loaded the prepaid meter with only GH¢10,000.

However, after the administrative manager died, Mensah continued with the deal.

How money was shared
The court was told that each month Mensah pocketed GH¢16,000, while Akushika received GH¢4,000 out of the GH¢20,000.

Mr Abariga said investigations by the ECG indicated that Mensah did the bypass so that he could steal the money given to him for power.

It was also found that Akushika used the GH¢30,000 cheque issued by Forewin in the name of the ECG to account for her sales.

Akushika is said to have declined to give her statement to the police when she was arrested.

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