September 21, 2016 By Hawa Amara
Presiding Magistrate of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1, Dr. Abou Bhakarr Binneh-Kamara, yesterday granted Le300 million bail to one Samuel Waterson Maya, who allegedly defrauded United States national Louis Cukiewar the sum of US$49, 600 by falsely pretending that he would pre-finance a gold mining company.
Magistrate Dr. Binnh-Kamara also stated that the bail should be approved by either the Master and Registrar or his deputy, and that the accused should produce two sureties in like sum.
He said the sureties must produce their National passports and that they must be residents in the western area.
Whiles testifying in court, Cukiewar identified himself as a licensed gold exporter from Sierra Leone to the United State of America.
He said he has a business partner in America -Tommy Foday Monda – and that he had a conference with Monda in America before he travelled to Sierra Leone.
The witness stated that Munda further advised him to come to Freetown and do business with one Milton Magbity.
“When I arrived at Lungi International Airport, Milton Magbity took me to his house at Murray Town in Freetown,” he testified.
He said Magbity was to help him secure some gold for exportation and that they went to Kenema and visited a mining site owned by the accused.
“I and Magbity met the accused at the site where the mining was expected to take place. The accused then showed me the site, machines and workers,” he said.
The witness continues that he then asked the accused to assist him secure some gold for exportation, which he agreed to do.
“The accused then told me to pay him the sum of US$30,000 per kilo but I disagreed. He asked me to call him the following evening and we spoke and agreed on $US27,000 per kilo,” he said.
He said he also agreed to give the accused the sum of US$3,500 per month as pre-financing fees, while the accused agreed to provide him with 7-10 kilo of gold.
“I paid the accused the sum of US$3,500 as pre-financing fees per month in April, 2016 in a hotel in Kenema,” the American told the court.
He continued that he later met the accused at his house in Blama, where he was shown some sample of gold dust and that he also showed the accused photos of his relatives in America.
The witness further testified that when he returned to Freetown, the accused invited him to his house at Goderich and informed him that his mining license had expired and that he wanted US$3000 to renew it and secure gold for him.
“I then indicated to the accused that the said US$3000 would be given to him as the pre-finance fees for the month of May, 2016. I later returned to New York and left the sum of US$50,000 to one Bernard Abass Kargbo for the purchase of gold on my behalf. I later received a phone call and upon the information I got from the said phone call, I instructed Kargbo to give US$37, 100 to the accused on my behalf,” he said.
The matter was adjourned to 28 September, 2016 when the witness is expected to continue his evidence-in-chief.
The accused was before the court on ten counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.
According to the particulars of offence, on diverse dates between 1st and 30th April, 2015 in Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone, with intent to defraud, he obtained the sum US$49, 600 from the complainant by falsely pretending that he was going to pre-finance gold mining company in Blama, Kenema district, knowing same to be false.