EOCO hunts for Lebanese who jumped bail

Khalil was sentenced in absentia on 22 June 2022, after jumping bail, to five years in prison with hard labour

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has launched a manhunt for a Lebanese national who was sentenced in Ghana to five years in jail over fraud.

Naji Khalil was a member of a notorious international organised criminal group that included Nabil Zayani (Lebanese), Abraham Faouri (Jordanian) and Tony Michaelis.

They were charged with conspiracy to defraud by false pretence, participating in an organised criminal group, and conspiracy to commit crime, including money laundering.

On 22 June 2022, after jumping bail, Khalil was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail with hard labour.

EOCO has appealed to the general public for assistance towards arresting the convict so that he can serve his full prison sentence.

Fact of the case

In April 2019, the victim, Dr Khadidja Katir, an Algerian national, reported to EOCO claims that she had been defrauded to the tune of US$138,000 by an organised crime group based in Ghana, comprising four suspects: Naji Khalil, Nabil Zayani, Abraham Faouri and Tony Michaelis.

The swindle occurred under the pretext of airlifting rough crystals’ worth US$4 billion to her in Malta, she said.

After several telephone calls once the victim haf transferred the monies, the four accused refused to answer calls from her. However, on that one occasion that they finally answered a call from Dr Katir, they threatened to kill her if ever she set foot in Ghana.

Despite the threats, the victim came to Ghana, where she lodged a complaint at EOCO for further probing. Investigations confirmed that the suspects were members of an international organised criminal syndicate which defrauds members of the unsuspecting public.

Members of the public who wish to volunteer information leading to the arrest of Naji Khalil can call EOCO directly (025 704 4779) or send a message to its official WhatsApp line: 057 907 9066.

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