An Accra Circuit Court granted GH100,000 bail with two sureties to eight people, including a lady, for unlawful money-changing operations.
Ms Adelaide Abui Keddy, presided over by the Court, directed that the sureties be justified with any property worth GH100,000.00.
She requested Mohammed Ali, Barikisu Yakubu, Shaibu Suleman Issah, Barry Ali, Bashiru Saadu, Saadu Hamidu, Muhamadu Shamshudeen, and Karim Yahaya to report to the police twice a month until the issue was resolved.
They have pled not guilty to operating a currency company without a license and are scheduled to appear in court again on December 12, 2022.
Police Inspector Isaac Babayi informed the Court that on November 9 and 10, 2022, a team of police officers and the Bank of Ghana conducted an operation to crack down on illicit currency transaction at Tudu, Accra’s business district.
According to the prosecution, the defendants were detained after investigations proved they were involved in the activity without a license, and a search on them turned up thousands of cedis and foreign currencies such as Naira and US dollars.
The prosecution stated that their accomplices fled the scene and that attempts were being made to bring them to justice.
Mohammed was seized with GH2,300.00 and USD87, Barikisu with GH10,010.00 and 6,002 Naira, Shaibu with GH3,850.00 and 65,000 CFA, and Barry with GH848.00 and USD70.
According to the prosecution, police discovered GH52 and 25 Naira on Bashiru, GH360.00 on Hamidu, and GH42.00 on Karim.
In requesting bail, a team of attorneys led by Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu stated that the accused were detained on Thursday, November 10, and arraigned on Monday, November 14, 2022, which violated the constitutional injunction of 48 hours.
According to the defense counsel, all of the defendants denied the crime since they had no knowledge of the company and were not involved in it.
He said that some of them resided and transacted in the commercial district and were captured in the sweep, adding that Barikisu, for example, was traveling to Lagos, which had a terminal nearby.
Mr Adawudu stated that Bashiru, Barikisu’s kid, was also seized in the swoop while accompanying his mother to the bus station.
Mr Adawudu said that Bashiru, Barikisu’s son, was also apprehended while bringing his mother to the bus station to catch a bus to Lagos.
Both Hamidu and Shamshudeen, professional motorcycle operators, he added, were onlookers.
Mr Adawudu also stated that there were relatives and friends to provide sureties and that they had permanent places of habitation within the Court’s jurisdiction and were not flight risks.
The prosecution, however, objected, arguing that they should be held in police custody to aid authorities in their investigations.
It said that several of those arrested posed a flight risk and that their travel documents were taken during the arrest.
The prosecution was also concerned that they might impede investigations.
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