ACCRA: Two Indian nationals and their local accomplice have been arrested in the Ghana capital for engaging in telecommunication fraud in this west African nation.
The two Indians – Harwinder Singh and Inderjit Kumar Singh – and their Ghanaian accomplice William Abri have been accused of diverting international calls, which could have gone through the systems of the telecommunication companies, leading to loss of revenue to the state and telecom companies.
Mr Proper Kwame Agblor, a senior police official, said the suspects were arrested from here and the western regional capital, Takoradi, following a tip-off.
Mr Agblor said a taskforce comprising the police, National Communications Authority (NCA), telecommunication providers Vodafone and MTN arrested the two Indians March 4. He said Harwinder, who registered a company called Hilmaya Company Limited, applied for five postpaid SIMs from MTN to be distributed to the staff of the company. It was detected that he ostensibly used those cards to defraud to the tune of GH¢131,886 (about $89,000) within five days. The suspect, Mr Agblor said, also applied for 21 postpaid SIMs of Vodafone to be distributed to the staff of the company, for which he
incurred a bill of
GH¢270,538 (about $182,000) within six days of usage. Mr Agblor said the company had no workers and the address provided turned out to be a bath house in the Brong-Ahafo region.
Hilmaya was also alleged to have applied for 30 mobile lines in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, under the name of Parbat Agro Company Limited and within ten days he used the lines for international calls amounting toGH¢904,392 (about $611,000) It has been established that the company does not have any staff at all and the total loss to Vodafone amounted to GH¢174,000.
Inderjit, who was arrested, was said to have gone to Airtel offices in Takoradi in December last year to make enquiries about the company’s postpaid services for his company, called Visual Agro Limited.
Investigations revealed that the company had no staff. It also came to light that the suspects were visitors to the country and their visas had expired.
Mr Agblor said Abri was arrested March 2 from his house at Greda Estate, Teshie in Accra.
The Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who was at the news briefing, said the government was determined to deal decisively with anybody who breaches the country’s laws. Mr Iddrisu noted that even though the country is a gateway to West Africa, it would not allow investors and visitors to engage in clandestine activities that would undermine its economic development.