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Hajj Board official in over Gh¢23k Visa fraud

A member of the communication team of the Ghana Hajj Board Zakaria Rahman is in hot waters for collecting money from prospective pilgrims who could not travel to Mecca.

Four women have reported Rahman to two separate police stations in Accra – Airport and Nima Police Stations – over his inability to acquire Visas and flight tickets for them to travel to Saudi Arabia to observe the Holy pilgrimage this year.

Rahman allegedly took Gh¢11,800 each (Gh¢23,800) plus passports from two of the four women who have lodged complaint at the Airport Police Station, promising to facilitate their travel to the Holy Land but went AWOL till the Hajj was over.

Rahman has refused to respond to several calls from the complainants ever since he returned from the Hajj until the case was reported to the police. Rahman issued two cheques to a brother of the two women to reimburse them, but the cheques were bounced.

“He’s not picking my calls since then and because I was the one who introduced him to my sisters there is so much pressure on me. They think I connived with Rahman to dupe them,” the brother of the two who had to sell his car to settle his sisters.

Rahman confessed that he took the monies from the women, adding that “it was a last minute move and unfortunately things did not work out.”

He stated that he paid Gh¢8,800 into the accused persons’ account on October 13, 2017 and will try and settle the rest in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Nima Police command has confirmed that two other women have reported Rahman to them over similar case. According to police sources, Rahman made a part-payment of Gh¢9000 to the complainants on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

“Yes, I’ve paid them and it’s left with just Gh¢2,500 to pay… there is cooperation with the police and I’ll definitely pay them,” Rahman promised. He said the Board is unaware of the case since it was something he was personally handling.

When reached the head of the Communication Team of the Hajj Board Alhaji A.R Gomda he opined he is unable to comment on “such matters”.

All efforts to get the chairman of the Hajj Board Sheikh IC Quaye on the case proved futile.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Vice President under whose supervision the Board operates is investigating a series of complaints against the IC Quaye-led body.

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