Four persons involved in the syphoning of GH₵1,262,496.66 from Best Point Savings and Loans Limited have been sentenced to a total jail term of 20 years.
This is after an Accra Circuit Court found them guilty. The four broke down in tears after the sentence, with some relatives also unable to control their tears and reached for the convicts’ hands before they were escorted out of the courtroom.
Silas Adjei, former IT Officer of the Company was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the court presided over by Justice Malike Wornya, a High Court Judge who sat with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court Judge.
Kwadwo Kudekor, a Supporting Officer of the Company, was also sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Patience Adjei, sister of Silas and a mobile vendor and James Afadzie, a trader, are to serve five years imprisonment each. Silas and Kudekor were charged with conspiracy and stealing. Silas was additionally charged with unauthorised interference with electronic record and money laundering.
Patience and Afadzie were held for abetment of crime and dishonestly receiving monies stolen by Silas. Silas is said to have acquired over 18 vehicles and other properties.
The prosecution, led by Mr Richard Gyambiby, a Senior State Attorney, said the complainant was Best Point Savings and Loans Limited.
The prosecution said Patience was the sister of Silas and Afadzie, the husband of Patience. The State said in January 2014, the Company started operating with a banking software known as Bankers Realm, which was purchased from Kenya.
The State said in the course of operations, it was realised that the Company’s system had some challenges, so management decided to acquire and migrate on to a new system.
The prosecution said at the end of 2015 financial year, the Company started migrating from the Bankers Realm software to a new one known as X100 format.
It said having run a successful conversion test in December 2015, another conversion test with an updated database was converted for staff training in January 2016.
The prosecution said another database was also converted for user acceptance test on the new software. It said after all the tests had been completed a final database known as “Go Live” purposes was also converted on March 18, 2016.
The prosecution said during the final conversion, while the data was being validated, some discrepancies between the old and the new software were detected. It said the validation also revealed that there was a transaction amounting to GH₵1,262,496.66.
The prosecution told the court that a Kenyan consultant was employed to help investigate the course of the discrepancies and he found out that the system had been tampered with.
That was also corroborated by the software engineers of Global Union System, another company.
The prosecution held that the transactions were similar in nature and emanated from four different accounts.
It said the different accounts were in the names of Patience and Afadzie, one Asante Seth, aka Precious Havor and Theophilus Aboagye, aka Dennis Amankwa, all friends of Silas, who are at large.
The prosecution said investigations showed that Silas had fictitiously and unlawfully credited the accounts with various sums of money and deleted the transactions from the final database for migration onto the new system of the Company.
According to the prosecution, it was discovered that the narration of those transactions had been changed into “interest accrued” and same had been made to look like the transaction had been done automatically by the system and all its trait details had been deleted.
It said Silas had resigned from the Company during the final stages of migration just when the discrepancies were discovered.
During investigations, the prosecution said Kudekor had on several occasions checked and performed transactions on the four different accounts with two of the names on the accounts having different pictures.
The prosecution told the court that the matter was reported to the Police and on May 3, 2016, Silas was arrested at Pokuase.
It said a passport, DVLA documents on 18 vehicles, and a laptop, among others, were retrieved during a search.
The prosecution said documents of three vehicles in the name of Silas’s wife were also found.
The prosecution said while in custody, investigations revealed that two Policemen aided Silas to disinvest and cash GH₵195,233.72 he had invested with Ideal Finance.
It said on July 26, 2016, Kudekor was also arrested.