Eight persons, including a woman, have been granted a GH₵100,000.00 bail with two sureties each by an Accra Circuit Court over illegal money changing business.
The Court presided over by Ms Adelaide Abui Keddy ordered that the sureties be justified with any property valued at GH₵100,000.00.
She asked Mohammed Ali, Barikisu Yakubu, Shaibu Suleman Issah, Barry Ali, Bashiru Saadu, Saadu Hamidu, Muhamadu Shamshudeen and Karim Yahaya to report twice in a month to the police until the determination of the case.
They have pleaded not guilty to operating forex business without license and will make their next appearance on December 12, 2022.
Police Inspector Isaac Babayi told the Court that between November 9 and 10, 2022, a team of police officers and the Bank of Ghana embarked on an exercise to clamp-down on illegal forex trade at Tudu, Accra business centre.
The prosecution said the suspects were arrested when investigations revealed they were engaged in the trade without license, adding that a search on them revealed thousands of cedis and foreign currencies such as Naira and the United State’s dollars.
The prosecution said their accomplices managed to flee the scene and that efforts were being made to get them to face the law.
It said GH₵2,300.00 and USD87 were seized from Mohammed, GH₵10,010.00 and 6,002 Naira from Barikisu, GH₵3,850.00 and 65,000 CFA from Shaibu and GH₵848.00 and USD70 from Barry.
The prosecution said police found GH₵52 and 25 Naira on Bashiru, GH₵360.00 on Hamidu and GH₵42.00 on Karim.
A team of lawyers led by Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu in praying for bail, said the accused persons were arrested on Thursday, November 10 and arraigned on Monday, November 14, 2022, which breached the constitutional injunction of 48 hours.
The defense counsel said all the accused persons had denied the offence because they had no idea about the business and not engaged in it.
He said some of them lived and traded around the business area and were caught in the swoop, adding that Barikisu, for instance, was travelling to Lagos, which had its terminal close to the area.
Mr Adawudu said Bashiru, the son of Barikisu was also caught in the swoop as he was escorting his mother to the bus terminal to go to Lagos.
He said both Hamidu and Shamshudeen, commercial motorbike operators, were also passersby.
Mr Adawudu said there were family and friends to stand sureties, adding they had fixed places of abode within the jurisdiction of the Court, and that they were not flight risk.
However, the prosecution disagreed and said they should be kept in police custody to assist police in investigations.
It argued that some were flight risk and that their travelling documents were seized during the arrest.
The prosecution also feared they would interfere with investigations.
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