Where should I hide my money – Elizabeth Ohene writes

Elizabeth Ohene - Rapid News GH

When I was a young woman living in an apartment in Hendon, North London, a policeman once showed up at my backdoor as I was getting ready for work. Elizabeth Ohene

He said, “I’m afraid your car has been done,” when I opened the door.

This was British police jargon for my automobile having been burgled, searched, and its contents stolen.

I needed some time to process what the young police officer was saying and to recover from the shock of seeing a cop at my door. Elizabeth Ohene

He escorted me gently downstairs to the courtyard and the spot where I had parked my car.

I saw a sight that was not appealing.

My car appeared to have been caught in a hurricane’s eye.

All of the carpets and mats were torn out, the windscreen had been broken, the glove box had been opened, the papers were all over the floor, and the car boot had been thoroughly searched.

It turned out that five of the automobiles our apartment building occupants had parked in the courtyard had been “done” at some point during the night, to use a police slang term. Elizabeth Ohene

Later, I began to question why only five of the more than 20 parked automobiles had received such harsh treatment, but at the time, I was merely perplexed.

It didn’t seem like I had offended someone who had chosen to vandalize my car, in other words, and I was left wondering why it had occurred to my car because it didn’t seem personal.

The policeman then stated very matter-of-factly to me that the burglar or burglars had “obviously been looking for money.”

Do you mean in the glove box, under the carpeting, and the trunk of my car?

I kept repeating that to myself, but I couldn’t figure it out.

I had never heard of somebody using a car’s boot, glove box, or floor under the seats as a hiding place for cash before that morning.

But you can always learn something new, and that autumn morning in North London, a young police officer assisted me in finding the car’s use as a money-hiding spot.

The policeman tried to explain to me that some individuals believed it to be a safer location than the room in the apartment. Elizabeth Ohene


The event involving the policeman and my wrecked car in London has come back to me over the past few weeks as I’ve been trying to make sense of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and my friend Cecilia Abena Dapaah’s story. Elizabeth Ohene

According to court documents the Special Prosecutor submitted, he said that during his search of Cecilia’s properties, he discovered money “concealed in, among others, wraps, polythene bags, clothing items, and 32 envelopes.” Elizabeth Ohene

According to the reports’ citation of the OSP, the money was also “hidden in obscure locations within the residences, and some even labeled and described and were buried and secreted in obscure places.”

Since I lack the necessary skills and the case is currently in court, I won’t even attempt to criticize how the OSP handled the situation. Instead, we will wait for the proper procedures to be followed.

But I’m confident that I can communicate how perplexed I am by some of the events.


Nobody can accuse Cecilia of trying to hide anything from the OSP or other state officials because he didn’t precisely give her notice that he was coming to search her home or declare over the radio that he was on the way to search.

Nobody can claim that she set up the situation so that the OSP would struggle to find the items he was looking for during the search.

I’m curious as to what’s odd about Cecilia, myself, or anyone else “hiding” their own money in “obscure locations in their homes.” Elizabeth Ohene

I used to think that the whole idea of being security conscious was to hide your money in such a secret location that when a robber broke into your house, he would have a hard time figuring out where you had hidden it.

Where you keep your money is meant to be a never-ending struggle to outsmart robbers.

From time immemorial, we have all been urged not to make things easy for thieves by placing money, jewelry, or anything else that can be easily taken if they should break into our homes.

What picture does the OSP think is a painting of Cecilia saying she had money in “wraps, polythene bags, and envelopes”? Elizabeth Ohene

I keep and know lots of people who keep their money in wraps, polythene bags, and envelopes.

Do we all therefore qualify for the attention of the Special Prosecutor?


Surely it is acceptable for each of us to bury and hide our riches in hidden locations to prevent unauthorized visitors from having easy access to them?

Why should hiding my valuables in secret locations be noteworthy for any purpose at all?

The money is placed in an envelope for you when you go to withdraw money from the bank, and I often keep the package in the envelope in my handbag and use it all up.

There are shredded envelopes with varied amounts of money in every handbag I own.

Sometimes, when I go through envelopes and find enough money, I am pleasantly delighted.

I occasionally lack luck and come up dry. Elizabeth Ohene

I recently discovered GH 178 in a handbag I hadn’t used in the previous five years, wrapped in a worn-out envelope.

I don’t know if the OSP utilizes cash in his personal, private transactions or if he has fully abandoned cash in favor of the card.

However, if he uses and carries currency, I wonder if, whether I was invited or not, I would find whatever money he had neatly packed on the frontispiece of his home. Elizabeth Ohene

Or perhaps he keeps his money in the glove compartment of his car or, as I have heard, in the freezer with the frozen fish and finds it unusual that some of us keep our money in envelopes and with our clothes. Elizabeth Ohene

I’m going through all of my handbags and will put any money I discover in the front room drawer because it appears like storing money in your own home can now be used against you.

This is to make sure that the Special Prosecutor won’t be annoyed when he finds out that I’ve hidden my money from my house.

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