Martin-Luther C. King
Ghana Police have arrested four people said to be linked to network marketing company, QNET, over suspected scam in which 29 West African nationals, or ECOWAS citizens, had fallen victim.
The ECOWAS citizens were allegedly lured to Ghana under the pretext of securing them jobs in a mining firm in Abuakwa, Kumasi, the country’s second largest city, for which they were charged $750 each.
They later discovered they had been recruited to undertake network marketing, something they objected to.
Subsequent efforts to retrieve their monies have been unsuccessful, compelling them to lean on the benevolence of people for survival.
The victims, both males and females, include Gambians, Malians and Sierra Leoneans. They had arrived Ghana last February only to learn the deal that had attracted them to Ghana was rather for network marketing.They alleged they had been swindled.
Police at Abuakwa are investigating the matter after arresting four persons, including two agents of QNET. Abuakwa District Commander, Chief Superintendent Yaw Obeng Asubonteng, who confirmed the story, said his squad had launched investigations into the matter.
Ghana’s mining industry contributes around 37 per cent to the country’s total exports. Gold alone contributes up to 90 per cent of the mineral exports. The country has over 23 gold mining companies, making gold mining and exploration activities some of the busiest in the country. Ghana is also a major producer of manganese, diamond, and bauxite. The country also has large deposits of natural gas, silver, salt, and petroleum.
But Ghana is also increasingly becoming a major centre of scams in Africa. The motive of most scammers in Ghana is to get as much money as they can from their innocent victims. Trending on the list of Ghana scams is the job scam, much like the one the 29 ECOWAS citizens just fell victim to.
Typically, fraudsters approach the victims offering a job that perfectly suits their profile. Most of such job offers are from the mining, petroleum and oil/gas sectors, which require the would-be victim to pay an advance fee for some ostensibly legitimate reason.
The victim is also asked to send their resumes along with their bank information, including money. Desperate job seekers often fall prey to these kinds of offers and end up losing their personal financial information.
Ghana is also a hot-bed for dating scams, visa and plane ticket scams as well as other huge money scams involving gold and diamonds.
In the visa, plane ticket and visa scam, the victim, usually in a Western country, is enticed to invite the would-be scammer for a visit and, then, asked to deposit money for flight ticket in the scammer’s bank account to facilitate the trip. But once the victim deposits the money, the fraudsters disappear leaving no clue for the victim on how to get back their money.
There is also the medical emergency scam, whereby the scammer first tries to develop a good bond with the target and tries to know the user personally. After a certain period of dating, the scammer uses sympathy as a weapon and asks for money for a medical emergency with promises of paying back the user. Once the money is received, there is no trace of the scammer.