A 28-year-old trader of Babato in the Kintampo North Municipality, who collected GH¢3,150.00 from five persons under the pretext of sending them to Libya, has been sentenced to a fine of GH¢240.00.
The convict, Fuseini Kassim, would serve a nine-month prison term if he failed to pay the fine.
After collecting the amount, Kassim travelled with the five people by road to Niger and abandoned them.
He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced by the Kintampo magistrate court on his own plea.
The presiding judge, Mr Zoogah in his judgement, said he took into consideration the fact that the convict was a first offender who pleaded for leniency and also promised not to send people to Libya through illegal means.
The convict told the court that he had stayed in Libya for 18 months but because things were difficult, he decided to return to Ghana.
However, when the magistrate enquired from him why he decided to recruit people to Libya, while he knew that the place was not good, the convict said he thought it would be good for others and that he wanted the five people to try their luck.
On the Gh¢3,150.00, the court asked the complainants to take civil action to retrieve their money. The convict has so far refunded Gh¢1,500.00 of the total amount.
The facts of the case as presented in court by Sergeant Wisdom Ahiekpor were that the complainants, Zakari Adam and Mustapha Abubakari are farmer and student respectively, while the accused is a trader and they all lived at Babato.
He said in September 2009, the convict collected GH¢1,350.00 from the complainants and GH¢1,800 from three others with the pretext of sending them to Libya.
Sergeant Ahiekpor further told the court that Kasim travelled with the five by road to Niger but abandoned them at a town called Agadas, with the explanation that he was going to bring another group to join them.
He said after two weeks when the accused was not showing up, the five travelled back home and saw him going about his normal business as if nothing had happened.
Sergeant Ahiekpor said the complainants reported the matter to the police and Kasim was arrested.
Before passing judgement, Mr Zoogah advised people who wanted to embark on irregular migration through the desert to Libya to desist from such mode of travelling for the sake of their lives and also for the good name of Ghana.