On Tuesday, 13th November 2020, the Division Two (2) High Court presided over by Her Ladyship Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe (Mrs) convicted Awudu Anyas for Possession of Forged Documents contrary to section 166 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and Money Laundering contrary to section 12(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering(Amendment) Act 2014 (Act 874) and section 123 of the Electronic Transactions Act 2008 (Act 772).
The accused was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of Two (2) years and a fine of three thousand (3000) penalty units, or in default an additional 3 years in hard labor (IHL) on counts related to possession of forged documents after hearing of plea. He was also given two (2) years imprisonment and a fine of four thousand penalty units or in default four (4) years IHL on counts related to Money Laundering. The sentences are to run concurrently.
The court ordered the forfeiture of all funds standing to the credit of the accused in the fraudulently opened bank Accounts and a house located in Agona Swedru. An amount of GBP 10,000 contained in one of his accounts shall be resent to the remitter.
The accused person Awudu Anyas stood on trial on seven (7) counts of Possession of Forged Documents and seven (7) counts of Money Laundering. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, thereby leaving the prosecution with the responsibility of proving all charges against him as required by Law.
The hearing commenced on 14th March 2017, where the prosecution presented 10 witnesses.
At the close of the case of the prosecution, the accused indicated that he intended to make a submission of no case. The accused was charged with 17 counts for Possession of Forged of Documents, Fraud and Money Laundering.
On 10th October 2019, the accused was subsequently acquitted and discharged on 3 counts by a court determination. He was however called upon to answer to the remaining 14 counts which included Possession of Forged Documents and Money Laundering.
After hearing the case of the defense and all other evidence, Her Ladyship Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe found the accused guilty of all 14 counts.
The Accused, Awudu Anyas possessed and used three different passports bearing different names but the same photograph of himself to open and operate seven (7) local and foreign accounts at different branches of the Guaranty Trust Bank. He also had other accounts with other banks namely HFC Bank, Fidelity Bank, Agricultural Development Bank and the erstwhile Royal Bank.
He used the passport details of someone and falsely represented himself as George Hanson and Daniel Brown. In June 2009, Awudu Anyas used forged Voter’s ID card to open an account at the Swedru Branch of ADB Bank. The Voter’s ID had the name Ibrahim Anyas.
The accused between March 2010 and March 2015 possessed and used forged documents to open bank accounts through which he received funds from unsuspecting victims.
A total estimated amount of USD311,343, GBP15,000 and GHS1,100 were found to have been received through the fraudulently opened accounts which were all linked to the accused.
It is for these reasons that the accused Awudu Anyas was charged with the offences of Money Laundering and Possession of forged documents and arraigned before the Accra High Court for trial.
Source: Anti-Money Laundering Unit & Public Affairs Unit