September 1, 2021
By Jeneba A Conteh
The 3rd prosecution witness in the ongoing preliminary investigations into alleged illegal importation of arms and ammunitions and aiding and abetting, Mohamed Sannoh, on Monday 30th August 2021, testified against an All People’s Congress Party(APC) Member of Parliament and two others.
Sannoh identified himself as an employee of the National Revenue Authority, Customs Service Department and that he is also head of Anti-smuggling Unit.
He said his role included trade facilitation, revenue generation; ensure the protection and security of the state by checking for restricted and prohibited goods, monitoring examination, among others.
He recognised all three accused persons in the dock and recalled that on the 2nd July, 2021, he was on duty at the Quay where containers are usually discharged for inspection at around 3pm when one Foday Fofanah called his attention to a grey Pathfinder Jeep that was parked nearby.
He continued that Fofanah told him that he had discovered arms and ammunitions in the aforementioned vehicle.
Sannoh said he in turn called another colleague, Mohamed Kabbah Massaquio who happens to be the first Prosecution witness. Sannoh said he was shown a plastic which contained items suspected to be arms and ammunitions.
Upon Massaquio’s arrival with police officers, Sannoh said a certain Victor Muana drove the vehicle to a point where all could see what was in it.
He added that himself, other colleagues as well as the police officers present moved to Massaquio’s office where the items were counted for them to be handed to the police.
The witness further narrated that while the arms were being counted, they heard a knock on the door, when they checked it was the third accused, Honourable Emmanuel Saidu Conteh. The witness identified Honourable Conteh in court.
He further narrated that Honourable Conteh explained that he went in respect of a vehicle that had issues with customs. The witness disclosed that Honourable Conteh shown Massaquio a picture of the vehicle he went for, adding that the vehicle he shown matches the vehicle that had issues with customs.
He said when the items found inside the vehicle were shown to Honourable Conteh, he exclaimed that the said vehicle was not his, adding that he could not have brought arms into his country, owing to the fact that he is an Honourable Member of Parliament.
He said before long, AIG East and LUC of Ross Road came to the scene and that Honourable Conteh revealed that the consignee of the container was one Nabieu Unisa Raymond Bangura (first accused), while one Carew was the shipping agent.
He said Carew was called in respect of his role in the shipment, and he confirmed that he did ship the container.
Sannoh said, himself, Massaquio, Honourable Conteh, and a few police officers present moved to the Commissioner of Customs and explained to him what had happened.
He mentioned that the arms included: 100 live rounds, 12 gun magazines, and 7 pistols.
He said when the Commissioner asked the Honourable if he was aware of the arms, he said Honourable Conteh replied that he hadn’t any knowledge about the items.
He added that he is not the owner of the vehicle, but only came to assist a friend, for he had a duty free concession.
Honourable Conteh also mentioned that the consignee was Bangura (first accused) who showed up.
He said the first accused confirmed that he was the one that shipped the container including the guns, but when he was asked if he had licences for the importation of arms, he said he hadn’t. They were then handed over to the police.
Magistrate Sahr Kekura requested for an adjournment. He adjourned the matter to Wednesday 1st September 2021. All accused persons are on bail.