Two self-styled pastors are in the grip of the police for allegedly defrauding more than 400 people by giving them fake prophecies.
The suspects, identified as Joseph Braimah, 22, and Derick Kweku Sakyi Baisie, 31 (alias Kweku Money), are said to target well-established traders and other personalities, mainly in the Greater Accra Region and other parts of the country.
They were nabbed after some victims reported their activities to the police.
So far, the police have received reports from five victims who have been duped to the tune of GH¢298,000.
One of the victims, a trader at Tudu, who first reported to the police, is said to have given the false prophets GH¢75,000, while her son parted with GH¢220,000, an Apple mobile phone, a KIA Optima and a Mercedes C Class saloon car.
A sister of the trader was also made to part with GH¢6,000 for prayers to help her overcome her infertility issues, while two other victims were duped of GH¢4,500 and GH¢2,500 and an Infinix mobile phone to avert accidents and death.
They are said to have used prophecies of death, accidents, spiritual attacks on businesses and family members, among other dangers to extort money from their victims in the name of saying special prayers for them.
Pastor arrested in shrine
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mrs Afia Tenge, said following complaints, the police arrested Braimah in Accra, while his accomplice Baisie was arrested at a shrine at Akyem Abirem in the Eastern Region
She said Baisie was consulting the services of Nana Boame, a renowned fetish priest in the Eastern Region, for protection and powers to avoid arrest.
Mrs Tenge said one of the victims, a trader at Tudu in Accra, told the police that about six months ago she was approached by Braimah, who had been preaching for some time near her shop.
During the encounter, Mrs Tenge said, Braimah requested for the mobile phone contact of the trader and the names of her children, which he claimed he would include in his prayer list. He also promised to assist her with prayers and prophetic direction.
After a few days, she said Braimah connived with Baisie to extort money from the trader.
Mrs Tenge said Baisie dressed as a pastor and visited the trader’s shop under the guise of buying some of her goods in a bid to establish contact with her.
While in the shop, Baisie is said to have made shocking spiritual revelations about his victim, which unknown to her were based on information provided by Braimah.
Subsequently, Baisie advised that a special prayer must be offered for the victim.
He is also said to have claimed that it had been revealed to him that a young pastor had been visiting the trader and that he was a true man of God who could help her to overcome her spiritual challenges.
Baisie later managed to convince the trader accommodate Braimah in her house to offer intense prayers at all times.
Mrs Tenge said police investigations showed that while in the trader’s house, Braimah gave more information on the trader and her family to Baisie, who called the trader regularly to claim he had seen those things in revelations.
At a point, she said, the fake prophets gave false prophecies of foreseen accidents which would result in the death of the trader and her family members.
They also claimed a sister of the trader suffering from stroke could be healed, while the infertility problem of another could be overturned with prayers.
After arresting the two suspects, Mrs Tenge said, the police retrieved a list with more than 400 names believed to be victims of the fake prophets.
She said the police had since retrieved the KIA Optima, while the suspects could not produce the money they had allegedly collected from the victims, as they claimed they had given a greater part of it to Nana Boame, the fetish priest.