September 20, 2020
By Yusufu S. Bangura
The former mining site manager of Hu Chin Mining Company, Frederick Vonjo, was on Friday, 18th September, granted Le50m bail by Magistrate Mark Ngegba presiding at the Pademba Road Court No.2 for allegedly stealing property worth 300 million Leones.
The accused has made his third appearance before Magistrate Ngegba on one count of Larceny contrary to section 26(2) of the Larceny Act 1916.
The charge sheet states that the accused on the 6th May, 2019, at Ecowas Street in Freetown, did steal equipment worth three hundred millions Leones from Hu Chin Mining Company at Yeile.
Testifying in court, Detective Police Constable, 11346 Henry Momoh Koroma (PW2) attached to the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters, said he recognised the accused and recalled on the date in question.
He told the court that he was on duty at the station when he received a call from the complainant (Joseph Micheal), adding that after the call, he and his colleagues went to Ecowas street and upon arrival, the accused was handed over to them.
The witness further explained that the complainant made a report of larceny and they arrested and escorted the accused to police station.
He said on the 6th and 7th May, 2020, he and his team obtained statements from the complainant and witnesses, and obtained voluntary caution statement from the accused on the same date.
He continued that during the investigation, they went to Makeni in search of one Marshal who the accused alleged to have bought the machine, but he was not available.
During cross examination by defense counsel, A Kondowa, the witness in a question responded that the mining company was previously owned by some Chinese people who the complainant bought it from.
The witness said during investigation, complainant produced documents of purchase between him and the Chinese people.
The witness confirmed that the purchaser was the complainant, (Joseph Micheal), but his name was not on the agreement.
Also testifying in respect of the matter, Abdulai Barrie (PW 3) who corroborates the evidence of the complainant (Joseph Michael) said that before purchasing the company, he went to Yeile to check if the machines are in good condition.
He said after he had purchase the company, he employed the accused as caretaker and went abroad.
The witness told the court that during investigation, the accused admitted stealing the machines and sold them.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Ngegba granted bail to the accused and adjourned the matter to Monday, 6th October, for further hearing.