A fake medical doctor is currently on the run after allegedly duping patients who were on admission at the Takoradi Government Hospital, popularly referred to as The European Hospital.
The suspect – whose name has been given as Jude – is said to have presented a fake attachment letter from the University of Ghana Medical School to the hospital administration seeking an internship as a junior doctor.
Investigations conducted by Connect FM’s Omanbapa morning show team indicate the suspect was allowed to do the said internship at the hospital and was assisting some of the senior medical doctors.
After days of working with the facility, he adopted a strategy to steal from sick people who were on admission.
Sources indicate he collected the mobile phones of all the patients on admission with the excuse that he was keeping them safe from thieves.
“He collected their phones and told them thieves had been coming to the hospital to attack patients so the phones would be kept safely for them. He also convinced them to unlock the phones since someone might urgently call them,” our source indicated.
Whilst the unlocked phones were with the suspect, he started chatting with close contacts of the patients and demanded they send monies for emergency care.
“He was posing as the patients whilst using their phones and told their contacts that they needed money for medical care. The people he contacted thought they were chatting with the original owners of the phone and some of them sent an undisclosed amount of money to him,” the sources added.
One of the patients at the hospital was a Nigerian woman domiciled in Takoradi and has been operating a chop bar business.
With this information in mind, the suspect went for the services of a Nigerian prostitute at Vienna City in Takoradi and used the unsuspecting sex worker to collect money from her Nigerian contacts.
“I was at Vienna on Wednesday when the suspect walked towards me and asked how much I would charge for a night. I told him he would pay GH¢600 but he asked for a reduction and we all agreed on GH¢500. He then opted we go to my place which I obliged because I would take my money afterwards. We had a shower and did whatever we had to do. In the morning, he asked that I give him my mobile money registered number because someone would be sending money to him. He was holding four phones and calls started coming in from Nigeria, he asked me to speak to them in my language,” the prostitute, Bella (not her real name) indicated when we visited her at her lodge.
According to her, even though she had doubts about the behaviour of the suspect, she obliged all his instructions and they succeeded in receiving some amount of money.
“He asked me to tell all the callers that I was sick at the hospital and needed the money urgently which I did but I later realized he was up to something so I started asking him questions and he told me he was into internet business and the SIM card was for a friend. He later asked me to withdraw the money for him but I denied. Later, I gave him part of the money and threatened to hand him over to the police if he did not reveal what he was up to to me. He unfortunately outsmarted me and absconded,” she added.
According to her, some of the victims have since contacted her and she has sent back the remaining money to them.
“When he left, some of the victims including a pastor of one of the patients called me and they came to my lodge, I sent them back their money. He also left an IPhone, a bag, and a laptop here, I have handed it over to the hospital authorities,” she added.
Whilst the suspect was in Takoradi, he was being accommodated at the mission house of the Holy Hill Assemblies of God Church located at Mankessim White House, where he had gone to ‘accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal saviour’.
The head pastor, Apostle Jerry, told Nhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson, the host of Omanbapa, that he was shocked to have heard about the modus operandi of the suspect who appeared as a ‘saint’.
“He came and narrated a very sad story to me. He said he is a pharmacist by profession and had escaped from Sierra Leone where he was being sought for, for giving a medicine that killed a patient and needed a place to lay his head. I even helped him in drafting an application letter to the Takoradi Hospital and he had the job, he even came to testify in an open church. I had no knowledge he was fake until I received a call that he had absconded and his phones were switched off,” he added.
Authorities of the hospital have since reported the case to the Takoradi Central Police Station for further investigations.
The suspect is currently on the run whilst medical items believed to have been stolen from the hospital have all been retrieved.
Many residents from the Nigerian community in Takoradi have since confirmed sending money to the suspect.