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Sierra Leone News: Le 273m gold fraud…Accused sent to Prison

As a means of discouraging the rampant cases of fraud (419) in the country, Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No.2, yesterday remanded Fatmata Bomporoh Sesay and Mohamed Sesay for allegedly conspiring to defraud Ashraf Abdel Tawab Yusuf, the sum of Le 273, 750,000(two hundred and seventy-three million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones).
The matter is being prosecuted by Sergeant 922 Dumbuya J. while Counsels C.F. Edwards, M. Pius Sesay represented the accused.
Both accused faced four count charges, as on count one, they were charged with the offence of conspiracy to defraud and particulars of offence state that on Thursday April 4th 2014, at Horse Fishing Company in Jui, the accused with intent to defraud, conspired with other persons unknown to defraud Abdel Tawab Yusuf, the sum of Le273, 750, 000 (two hundred and seventy-three million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones).
On count two, they were charged with the offence of obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 32(1) of the Larceny Act 1916 and particulars of offence state that the accused on the same date and place, obtained the sum of Le273, 750, 000 (two hundred and seventy-three million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones) by falsely pretending to have 10 kilograms gold for sale, knowing the same to be false.
The accused were charged with the offence of causing money to be to another by means of fraud contrary to section 32(1) of the Larceny Act 1916 and particulars of offence states that the accused on the same date and place as above, the accused fraudulently caused Ashraf Abdel Tawab Yusuf to pay the sum of Le 273, 750,000(two hundred and seventy-three million seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones) to Alhaji Saccoh purporting to be the sales man of the said gold dust knowing the same to be false.
Representing the prosecution, Sergeant 922 Dumbuya J. called his first witness, who is the complainant that was present in court, and when asked to explain in brief about the issue, disclosed that he gave the money to the accused for the purchase of  gold dust which he did not receive, as what was given to him was fake.
Before the matter was adjourned, Counsel M. Pius Sesay applied for bail on behalf of the accused, maintaining that the offences are mere allegation, as what transpired was a simple transaction between the complainant and the accused, explaining that they have reliable sureties that are ready to produce the accused throughout the matter, citing section 79(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1965 that makes bail a discretion of the magistrate
Sergeant 922 Dumbuya J. however objected to the bail application disclosing that the accused were arrested on a warrant and if bail is granted to them, there is the likelihood for them to jump bail, and that the court should look into the serious nature of the offence.
Magistrate Kamanda expressed dissatisfaction over the acts of 419 as such offences are bound to collapse the State and that is also reflected internationally, as people normally face embarrassment when travelling abroad based on the perception of fraud.
However, the accused were remanded in custody based on the serious nature of the offence and the matter comes up again on Tuesday July 29th 2014.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Tuesday July 22, 2014

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