An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a 34-year-old man to eight years in prison with hard labour for operating a Microfinance without a license.

Kofi Asante was also charged with forging the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) license for deposit-taking businesses.

He pleaded guilty to operating a microfinance business without a license and forging official documents to do so and was sentenced to four and eight years in prison, respectively.

Both sentences are to run concurrently.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Haligah told the Court presided over by Mr Jojo Hagan Amoah that in June 2023, the police received information that Asante had established microfinance business centres in the names of KM COMMUNITY BANK and PRYM CAPITAL within Suhum and its environs for the purpose of collecting deposits from the public without a licence.

According to the information, KM Community Bank had branches in Anum-Apapam, Akorabo, and Amanase, while Prym Capital had its headquarters in Suhum.

ASP Haligah said on June 30, 2023, the convict was arrested for investigations and a search was immediately conducted at all his office premises and copies of documents purported to be licence issued by the BoG in the name of KM Community Bank were found and same retrieved for investigation, he said.

The Court heard that during the investigation it was revealed that between January and April 2023, Asante forged a BoG Licence to operate the microfinance business and established branches at Suhum, Anum Apapam, Akorabo and Amanase.

According to the prosecution, Asante hired 24 people in Suhum and its surrounding areas as sales agents, among other jobs.

ASP Haligah told the courts that Asante convinced around 950 members of the public to make daily deposits totalling GHC56,000.00 with his businesses.

Asante stated in his cautioned statement that KM COMMUNITY BANK and PRYM CAPITAL were not registered with the Office of the Registrar of Companies and were not authorized to run deposit-taking operations by the Bank of Ghana.

He also confessed that he forged the BoG’s licence. ASP Haligah said after the investigation, he was arraigned.

Source: GNA