Former Lighthouse Chapel International pastor jailed for car fraud in Madagascar

Former Lighthouse Chapel International pastor jailed for car fraud in Madagascar:
Pastor Larry Odonkor, formerly associated with Lighthouse Chapel International | Photo: Joy News

Pastor Larry Odonkor, formerly associated with International (LCI), has been sentenced to two years in jail by a Court of Appeal in for the fraudulent sale of 's vehicle and the embezzlement of the proceeds.

According to documents obtained by the , the court has also ordered Larry Odonkor to reimburse the church the value of the Toyota Land Cruiser, which is approximately GH₵200,000.

In a default judgment, the court found him guilty of fraudulent breach of trust, stating that he had “embezzled or dissipated” various sums of money “to the detriment of the owners of Madagascar LCI.”

LCI had filed complaints of fraudulent breach of trust, money laundering, stealing, and defrauding by false pretences against Pastor Odonkor.

The prosecution's case was that Pastor Odonkor was the head pastor of LCI-Madagascar until December 2019 when he relocated to .

It was during this transition that the official vehicle assigned to him by the church went missing.

It was later revealed that Pastor Odonkor had instructed multiple individuals, including his assistant Pastor Edmund Amartey, to help him sell the car before leaving Madagascar. Pastor Amartey, unaware that the car didn't belong to Odonkor, sold it and gave him the entire proceeds.

Evidence presented during the trial included WhatsApp chats between Pastor Odonkor and Pastor Amartey, in which Odonkor instructed Amartey to sell the car and send all the proceeds to him. Additional WhatsApp chats between Odonkor and an administrator of LCI-Ghana were also presented.

In the course of these events, Odonkor managed to receive part of the proceeds in Accra through an administrator of LCI-Ghana without disclosing that the money was connected to the sale of the car, leading to the money laundering charge.

While the church did not file a complaint against Pastor Edmund, the court decided to make him a co-accused due to his role in the car sale.

He was ultimately acquitted and discharged because the court found that he had innocently helped Pastor Odonkor sell the car without benefiting from the sale.

LCI-Madagascar revealed that Pastor Odonkor, who was sentenced in absentia, has appealed the court's decision.

However, an arrest warrant has been issued for him, and he will be arrested if he enters the territory of Madagascar.

Reporting by Joyce Danso: Editing by Adewale Adejoke

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