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Le32m fraudster jailed

By Hawa Amara

One Hassan Bangura was yesterday remanded at the maximum security prison on Pademba Road for allegedly defrauding one Ibrahim Bah of the sum of thirty-two million, seven hundred and fifty thousand Leones (Le32,750,000) by falsely pretending that he has 20kg of gold dust for sale.

The accused was arraigned before Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No. 2 on four counts of conspiracy to defraud contrary to law, and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 32 of the Larceny Act of 1916.

According to the prosecution, the accused on diverse dates between 1st and 10th February 2014 in Freetown, conspired with other persons to defraud the complainant the sum of Le32,750,000 by falsely pretending that he has 20kg of gold dust for sale knowing same to be false.

The prosecution further alleged that the accused on the same date obtained the sum of Le150,000 from the complainant by falsely purporting that he (accused) was traveling to Kabala to bring the gold dust, knowing same to be false.

The accused, the prosecution continued, also on the same date obtained from the complainant Le600,000 by falsely pretending he was going to pay for the vehicle that will bring the gold dust from Kabala to Freetown, knowing same to be false.

Defence counsel C.F. Edwards applied for bail on behalf of his client, arguing that he is not a flight risk and would not interfere with prosecution witnesses if granted bail.

Police prosecutor Inspector S. Conteh, however, opposed to bail on the ground that the matter is very serious, and that the alleged gold which the accused gave to the complainant was fake.

In the ruling, Magistrate Kamanda stated that the offence which the accused is alleged of is very serious and that bail should not be granted to him at this stage.

Citing a ruling entered by High Court judge, Justice M.A. Paul against Ibrahim Lavally and nine others, Magistrate Kamanda stated that the prosecution’s failure to object or not to bail does not mean the court should grant bail, and that the public interest has to be considered.

The matter was adjourned to July 8 for the prosecution to open its case.