Diamond miner testifies in alleged theft matter

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By Elizabeth Kamara

In a recent court hearing, Ken Coker, a diamond miner, testified as prosecution witness No.1 in an alleged theft case involving diamond miners Ibrahim Barrie and Sao Fefegulah. Assistant Superintendent of Police, I.S Mansaray, led the prosecution.

Coker recounted events from August 25, 2023, when he received information from the complainant about a missing diamond. He said following the chief’s permission, an announcement was made, urging anyone with information about the diamond to come forward.

According to Coker, his brother, Alhaji Swaray, informed him that Ibrahim Barrie, the first accused person, possessed the missing diamond. Upon questioning, Barrie admitted to having the diamond but claimed to have given it to Sao for sale. Sao confirmed receiving the diamond and attempted  to sell it to a Lebanese buyer in Kenema for 40 million Leones, though they couldn’t agree on the price.

When confronted later, Barrie stated that the diamond had gone missing and made a statement at the Kenema Police Station. Barrie and Sao faced four charges, including conspiracy to commit a felony and housebreaking, related to the alleged theft of diamonds valued at over 500,000 Leones.

The charges specifically accused the defendants of conspiring to defraud Alusine Mohamed Conteh of a four-carat and fifteen percent diamond. Additionally, Barrie was charged with breaking into the dwelling house of Moses Brima Conteh and stealing various diamonds, while Sao was accused of receiving a stolen diamond from Barrie.

The case was adjourned to February 26, 2024, for further proceedings.

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