Two Indians, Inderjit Kumar Singh, 36, and Harwinder Singh, 45, who posed as agro investors in Ghana, and a Ghanaian, William Abri, 25, have been arrested by the police for defrauding three telecommunications operators in an international gateway deal.
While the two Indians, who claimed to be tourists, were arrested in Takoradi in the Western region, Abri was arrested at Grada Estates in Accra.
The telecommunications operators, MTN, Airtel and Vodafone, through the activities of the two, have lost revenue running into several millions of Ghana cedis.
While MTN made a loss of GH¢131,886, Vodafone lost GH¢1,174,000, with Airtel recording a loss of GH¢130,000 within a period of one week.
Briefing journalists at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Director General of CID, Prosper Agblor said a joint police/Airtel anti-fraud taskforce arrested the Indians on last Friday for engaging in telecom fraud known as Premium Rate Service (PRS).
Suspect Harwinder Singh, who owns Hilmaya Company Limited, applied for five post-paid SIM cards from MTN for his staff.
Within five days of usage, he incurred a GH¢131,886 debt, even though investigations showed that the company had no staff.
In the case of Vodafone, the same suspect applied for 21 post-paid SIM cards also supposed to be distributed to his company’s staff.
A debt of GH¢270, 538.15 was incurred within six says of usage.
When Vodafone began to chase after their money, the address provided was traced to a bath house in Sunyani, in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
Suspect Harwinder further applied for 30 post-paid mobile lines in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, using the name PARBAT Agro Company Limited and within a period of ten days of usage, he incurred a debt of GH¢904,392.00, being the cost of foreign calls.
In a similar fashion, suspect Inderjit, in December 2010, made enquiries about corporate post-paid services for his company, Visual Agro Limited, from Airtel’s Takoradi branch office.
He later applied for 25 post-paid mobile lines and within two days of usage, he incurred a debt of GH¢130.000.
Police investigations have proved that the two persons entered the country in June 2010 with visitors’ visa, after they had succeeded in defrauding MTN Ivory Coast.
Meanwhile, a search conducted in Abri’s residence revealed quantities of computer equipment with SIM box intelligence evidence which were seized.
The CID boss said this would greatly impact illegal operations from continuing.
An analysis by Vodafone indicated that Abri’s operations were causing the company financial loss in excess of GH¢2,000,500 per month since December.
This is a significant loss of revenue for the business and subsequent revenues for the Ghana Government.
It was quite feasible for the fraudsters to generate $1,000,000 in hard dollar losses for the operator in a weekend.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications, Haruna Iddrisu, has commended the police, National Communication Authority (NCA) and the communication giants for the various roles they played in the apprehension of the three suspects.
He stated that the arrest brings to bear the loop-holes in the processes of registering companies in the country and appealed to the authorities to make sure that such loop-holes were fixed.
Source Daily Guide