- US Department of State report says five of the suspects have been on police wanted list since 2013
- Reports say defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty by the US court of law.
Seven Ghanaians including a South African, have been indicted by a US court in Columbus Ohio for an online romance scam, money laundering and other related offenses.
According to a Mynewsgh.com report, the seven Ghanaians are Kwabena M. Bonsu, Kwasi A. Oppong, Kwame Ansah, John Y. Amoah, Samuel Antwi, King Faisal Hamidu, and Cynthia Appiagyei were indicted on Tuesday March 6, 2018.
Reports say the accused persons were arrested and charged for conspiring to transfer the proceeds of their online romance scams through unlawful means.
A US Attorney, Benjamin C. Glassman, who spoke on the matter disclosed that five of the suspects have been on police wanted list for similar crimes.
According to him, Kwabena M. Bonsu had been arrested in 2013 for a similar crime but was released later.
Benjamin C. Glassman explained that, the gang created several profiles on online dating sites and then contacted men and women throughout the United States with whom they cultivated a sense of affection, and romance.
They later then request money with typical wire amounts ranging between $10,000 and $100,000 per wire.
The US Attorney in his statement added that the suspects succeeded in manipulating their victims using dating websites such as Match.com, ChristianMingle.com, BabyBoomerPeopleMeet.com, PlentyofFish.com, OurTime.com, EHarmony.com, Facebook and then defrauding them of millions of dollars.
A statement released by the state department explained that in furtherance of the scheme, the co-conspirators allegedly created several companies, some of which were shell companies, to help attempt to hide the true nature of their proceeds.
The statement added that the gang attempted to launder millions of dollars in proceeds earned from the scam through a series of financial transactions in order to conceal their illegal activities.
However, US Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Ryan L. Korner has said that, indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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