Two Ghanaian men allegedly defrauded an American $1.2M by lying about supplying him containers of money

Francis Akhalbey November 03, 2023
Alexander McClay Williams was 16 when he was wrongfully convicted and executed in 1931 -- Photo Credit: sergeitokmakov

Authorities in Ghana have brought charges against two men who allegedly swindled an American out of $1,205,000 after they lied about providing the victim seven 20-footer containers of United States dollars.

According to, the defendants, identified as Dzam Abotsi and Nana Kwame Yanka, each pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and defrauding under false pretenses during an appearance at a circuit court in the capital, Accra.

Prosecutors said the American national, Gary Bernsten, and his partners in Brazil were notified about a cache of United States dollars that had been kept in approximately 20 containers in Ghana. Bernsten, who is an Asset Recovery Officer, ultimately traveled to the West African nation to retrieve the stash of money after he and his partners investigated the information at hand, the prosecutor said.

Bernsten and Abotsi met after the American national came to Ghana, the prosecutor told the court, adding that the victim was taken to a warehouse where he examined the dollars being stored in about seven containers. It was also determined the money in the containers wasn’t fake after a forensic examination.

And besides charging Bernsten $100,500, Abotsi also took another $200,000 from the victim for rent and security of the containers, prosecutors said, per Bernsten is said to have made the payments to Abotsi via cryptocurrency and wire transfers.

Prosecutors also said Abotsi advised Bernsten to arrange for the containers to be transported to a warehouse in the port city of Tema – which the victim did. A few days later, Bernsten went to the warehouse where the containers were being stored so he could transport them to Tema Harbour. But the containers had been moved, prosecutors said.

Abotsi and Yanka were ultimately arrested after a complaint was filed with the police. Another accomplice, identified as Alhaji Tanko, is currently at large.

The court has adjourned the case to November 23.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 3, 2023


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