A Ghanaian key suspect allegedly believed to have played a key role in Russia’s plans to meddle in the upcoming US elections, has been slapped with a charge of money laundering.
The suspect, Seth Wiredu is said to have failed to justify an amount of 82,443 cedis which he transferred to a Ghanaian over a short period of time.
According to state prosecutors, the suspect who is domiciled in Novgorod, Russia, had been engaging in online cyber scams and transferring various sums into Ghana.
Months of investigations by US television giant, CNN, revealed the country is allegedly being used by Russia as a base to meddle in the 2020 general elections of the United States of America.
The move spearheaded by Russian state-sponsored anonymous groups of Internet political commentators is meant to create racial tension and social unrest ahead of the polls.
Seth Wiredu was mentioned in the investigative piece as the one using social media accounts to rally Americans to vote for third-party candidates in the November Presidential elections.
According to Facebook about “49 Facebook accounts, 69 Pages and 85 Instagram accounts” have been removed for engaging in foreign interference.”
The social media platform further indicated that about 13,200 Facebook accounts followed one or more of the Ghana accounts and around 263,200 people followed one or more of Instagram accounts, about 65% of whom were in the US. Adding that “this network was in early stages of audience building and was operated by local nationals – witting and unwitting – in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia. It targeted primarily the United States.”
Twitter also told CNN that it had removed 71 accounts that had 68,000 followers. “Most were tweeting in English and presented themselves as based in the United States. The accounts operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and which we can reliably associate with Russia attempted to sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights.”
In their Ghanaian hideout, one of the trolls who spoke to CNN on the ticket of anonymity said she had no idea she would be working as a Russian troll.
She noted that employees were given topics to post about. “So you get stories about LGBT, you get stories about police brutality, depends on what you are working,”
The workers had specific times to post and tweet and that was late afternoon and at night in Ghana, times when the US audience would have been active.
Some of the accounts while operating from Ghana and Nigeria, claimed to be in Brooklyn or New Orleans in the United States of America.
One of them, @africamustwake, which described itself as a “Platform For #BLM #Racism #PoliceBrutality,” claimed to be in Florida. Another account even pretended to be the cousin of an African American who died in police custody.
Some few weeks ago, another account tweeted thus “Just experienced blatant #racism in Downton (sic) Huntsville, Alabama … Three of my black male friends were turned away because they were ‘out of dress code.’”
Investigations, however, revealed that the tweet was sent from Ghana.