Three persons have been hauled before the Ho Circuit Court for an alleged lottery fraud using various social media platforms.
The accused persons, Godwin Agbenyefia, alias Demon, aged 19; Reuben Abusah, alias Last Burial, 20; Kelvin Kwame Abouzi, alias Kartel, 20, who are all friends, are said to have succeeded in defrauding unsuspecting victims of various amounts of money including GH¢ 9,200 from Faustina Sitsofe Azameti and John Teitey.
They were arrested by the police at a hotel in Ho following a complaint lodged by the victims and the National Lottery Authority (NLA) for the illegal use of the authority to dupe people.
The Circuit Court in Ho, presided over by Mr Felix Datsomor, remanded the suspects in police custody to reappear on September 23, 2020.
The Volta Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Corporal Prince Dogbatse, told the Daily Graphic that the accused persons, Agbenyefia and Abusah, both resident in Akatsi, and Abouzi, a resident of Ho, created several social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp with the logo and pictures of the staff of the NLA and sometimes pictures of other people to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
Corporal Dogbatse said the three operated on the said platforms under the names: Adjorlorlo Gloria, Ankrah Richard and Eunice Boakye respectively, and posed as officials of the NLA.
The victims, including Faustina Sitsofe and John Teitey, contacted the accused persons who persuaded them to offer them some money so they could stake lotto numbers for them.
The accused persons, after the draw, sent photographs of fake winning coupons to the victims, which suggested they had won the lottery.
The accused persons then demanded 30 per cent of the amount of money they claimed the victims had won as a condition of the NLA for their guaranteed payment.
After they had received the money, they bolted and when the victims followed up, they blocked their phone calls.
The victims consequently lodged a complaint at the NLA office in Ho, which also reported the incident to the police.
Acting on intelligence, the police on August 26, 2020 arrested the accused persons at a hotel in Ho.
In their caution statement, they admitted to the offences and stated that they were lottery fraudsters.
Investigations have also revealed that the three had been engaged in the illegal activity since 2019 and had succeeded in engaging in a series of fraudulent activities ranging from lotto fraud to employment scams.
While commending the Volta Regional Police Command for the operation, the NLA, in a statement through its Public Relations Unit, cautioned the public against engaging the services of self-styled lottery operatives of the NLA.
The authority said it had “not designed any Registration Form for the public to register for winning lotto numbers”.
It also said it was untrue that people and staff of the authority had access to winning lotto numbers.