Welcome to Ghana, where nothing is a surprise anymore. Ghanaians are currently in an era where armed robbery is becoming a norm, fake pastors are celebrities and the worst criminals are in cohorts with the security companies. Recent revelations made known to the public gives a sort of explanation as to why such things are going on freely in the country and how come fraudsters and fake pastors are managing to milk the public with such finesse. Apparently, there are schools or training institutions set up in Kumasi and Brong Ahafo to recruit promising con men into armed robbery and fraud.
In an interview on OTEC FM’s “AS3m B3ba Dabi” on Wednesday 11th April, a returnee of one of the training schools, Samed Usman, shared his experience. The first training school was started by a group of Ghanaians and Ivorians in the Abingolo community in Cote D’Ivoire with the sole purpose of training and recruiting the youth into all forms of fraud, armed robbery, and con artistry. According to Samed, he was introduced to the gang by a childhood friend called Kamal, who is a member of the gang, currently residing in Cote D’Ivoire.
He said Kamal called and told him about a company recruiting people. For what purpose, it wasn’t clear but Kamal promised that the salary was to die for, and Samed decided to give it a shot. But first, he had to pay an amount of GHS4000, which Kamal said was to be used to “persuade” the front liners of the company to ensure his inclusion since the available slots for candidates was limited.
He complied and arrived at Cote D’Ivoire only to discover that the so-called recruitment agency was actually a school for training hardened criminals, led by a 29-year old Ghanaian woman called Fafara Mamara, who had employed “professionals” to train the recruits. Samed disclosed that these recruits were sometimes hired by some Pastors to pretend to be people with deformities and visit the church, where they would be miraculously healed and handsomely rewarded. Other recruits are trained in internet fraud.
The group uses what is called the “Q-Network” in training their recruits, and it is alleged that some prominent people in society are part of the network. “When I realized l could not be part of their activities, l threatened to inform the Ghana Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire and the BNI if they refuse to give my money to return to Ghana. They pleaded with me not to leak their activities to the security when I come back,” Samed explained.
Currently, Tafo and Awhia in the Ashanti Region, as well as Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region, are the known sites of these fraud training centers.