Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fuel tanker catches fire in Kumasi. One person dead

ONE person was killed and a number of others wounded when a fuel tanker overturned and burst into flames at the Nsuase area of Adum in Kumasi this morning (Friday). The deceased was burnt beyond recognition and his remains had been deposited at the morgue while the injured were receiving medical attention. The fire spread through parts of Adum and the crowded cold store area opposite the Asafo Neoplan Station causing massive destruction to property as the fuel spilled through drains. Thick black smoke drifted into the early morning skies, as frightened residents rose from their beds to escape to safe areas. Fire fighters had a difficult task controlling the blaze, and had to spend about two hours before bringing the situation under control. The accident was said to have happened at about 5:10am and the fire started afterwards whilst people siphoned the fuel. An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that the tanker with registration number GT 7560 X was heading towards Adum when the driver suddenly lost control in front of the Justmoh Construction building.
A huge explosion was the heard, which shook several houses, near the accident spot, shattered wooden doors, ceilings and glass doors and windows of some of the buildings.
This caused people to rush out of their homes onto the streets. They rescued the driver and his mate and rushed them to the hospital. The eyewitness said some people hurriedly went for buckets to siphon the fuel and it was during that process that they saw fire running through the drains from the cold store area towards where the tanker fell. The fire caught the tanker and it exploded. When the Daily Graphic got to the scene fire fighters from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) were battling the blaze. They sprayed water and foam on the burning tanker to cool it and prevent whatever gasoline residue was in the tank from exploding. The road from the interchange area leading to Adum through the Justmoh Construction area was closed to traffic in the morning. National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) officers were yet to ascertain the number of casualties at the time of filing this report. Residents in the cold store area and some portions of the Nsuase area evacuated from their homes in the heat of the fire.

Fraudster arrested in Kumasi

A forty-four-year-old man, who is alleged to have defrauded a number of people of various sums of money running into millions of Ghana cedis, has been arrested by the police. Victor Osei Sarfo who was arrested last Thursday after an 18-hour trail by the police in Kumasi, allegedly operated in various parts of the country. He was said to have posed as the son of Ambassador D. K. Osei, the President’s Secretary, and in some instances impersonated ACP Bright Oduro, Second in Command of the Greater Accra Regional Police. He also variously posed as a police detective, a BNI operative, an aide at the Castle, as Ambassador D. K. Ose himself on telephone and also impersonated a number of other personalities including Members of Parliament to defraud his victims. He again posed as a friend of high ranked police officers as well as politicians. Some of the names he used in his operations were Osei Kwadwo and Nana Osei but when he was arrested by the police he gave his name as Victor Osei Sarfo. Osei is said to have preyed on individuals and police officers, convincing them he could help them secure promotion in their various places of work as well as secure visas for them to travel outside the country especially to the United States of America (USA). Four mobile phones, two of which he used in his activities as belonging to Ambassador Osei and ACP Oduro were retrieved from him when he was arrested. A number of his victims had been showing up at the Asokwa Police to lodge complaints against him since he was arrested last Thursday. Police in Accra had demanded for his transfer to Accra to assist in investigations in similar cases involving him. The Crime Officer in charge of the Asokwa District of Police in Kumasi, ASP David K. Gyabaa, told the Daily Graphic that preliminary investigations had revealed that the suspect was an ex-convict who was jailed for 10 years. He was also said to have jumped bail while facing trial in a court of law and was being sought for adding that investigations had revealed that the suspect had a serious criminal record. ASP Gyabaa said the suspect was arrested after he attempted to defraud a police officer at the Asokwa Division of Police. He said police officers at Asokwa had known Osei who was also known as “Boga” as a self styled informant who had given information to the police on numerous occasions leading to the arrest of criminals. He said it was through such activities that the suspect came into contact with one of the officers at the Asokwa Police station whom he assured that he was a friend of ACP Oduro and that he could speak to him on his behalf for him to facilitate promotion for him. He said the suspect later pretended to be ACP Oduro and called the victim with one of his four mobile phones, telling him the victim that Osei had discussed his case with him, and that he was discussing the issue with Police Commissioner Adu Gyimah. He later asked the victim to give GH¢150 to Osei for onward transmission to him to facilitate the promotion. ASP Gyabaa said at another time, the suspect called the victim again under the name of ACP Oduro and informed him that Osei had given him the money to work on the promotion. He said the suspect after that incident called the victim and told him he had already given the money to ACP Oduro on his behalf so he should hurriedly arrange to get him the money. The police officer said the victim suspected Osei to be a fraudster and thus discussed it with his senior officers who agreed for them to call ACP Oduro directly on the purported telephone number he had used to call him. When they did the police officers detected that, the voice on the other side was not that of ACP Oduro. Hence they arranged with the victim to raise the GH¢150, recorded all the serial numbers on the notes and gave it to the victim for onward transmission at the Ultimate Drinking Spot near the Asokwa police station where the suspect had agreed to meet with the victim to collect the money on Thursday August 14, 2008. The Police officers laid ambush and picked him at about 7pm on that day when he showed up to collect the money. ASP Gyabaa said a number of complainants started showing up after his arrest to lodge complaints of fraud against him. He said the Police called Ambassador Osei to find out his relationship with the suspect and Ambassador Osei denied categorically ever knowing the suspect. He said Ambassador Osei informed them that he had received information that someone had been going round posing as his son to defraud a number of people. The police officer said complaints received on the suspect as of now includes a GH¢450 he had allegedly collected from a woman to ensure that her daughter was enlisted in the Ghana Armed Forces for which he had given the woman a prospectus indicating that the girl was about to be enlisted. Again, there has been a complaint from a youngman whom the suspect collected GH¢200 to assist him enlist in the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS). Another one was from two nurses at the Atasemanso Hospital, whom he had allegedly collected GH¢1500 and GH¢2900 respectively to assist them secure visas to travel to the USA. There were also three nurses whom he allegedly collected GH¢4400 and a doctor also at the Atasemanso Hospital, whom he duped GH¢3000 to help secure USA visas for some members in his household to enable them travel to the USA. Yet another one was a man from whom he collected GH¢400 to help secure a USA visa for him. ASP Gyabaa said the victims cut across and described him as a confident trickster, fraudster, slippery, intelligent and a radical who had the phone numbers of many supposedly big men in society on his phones and could imitate their voice on telephone. He said the suspect had in some instances introduced himself to his victims as a “commando” in the PNDC regime who was trained in Cuba. The suspect had since been put before court on charges of impersonation, defrauding by false pretences and extortion and remanded into prison custody while police were conducting further investigations on him.