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Justice for India Investor at Last…

Mohamed M’baqui and co jailed

June 8, 2018

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Justice Alusine Sesay yesterday sentenced Mohamed M’baqui and Mohamed Mansaray to eight years imprisonment after the duo’s conviction last week for the attempted murder of Indian investor Mohamed Malik Sariq.

Justice Sesay also ordered the first convict – Mohamed M’baqui – to refund US$698,980 he swindled from the Indian investor and compensate him in the sum of Le150 million, approximately US$20,000.

The judge further sentenced M’baqui to five years imprisonment for each of the 23 count charges, to be served concurrently. He also slammed eight years jail term on the first convict for the offence of attempted murder.

According to the judge, since the second convict was only convicted for minor offences, he sentenced him to five years imprisonment for each of the charges, to run concurrently.

Both convicts were initially charged with 86 counts of conspiracy, defraud, false imprisonment and attempted murder in 2013.

After the conclusion of the preliminary investigation at the lower court, the matter was committed to the High Court in July 2013 for further trial.

After the case file went through the Law Offices Department, the charges were reduced to 28 counts, and since then, the convicts had been in prison at the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road, although the court had granted them bail, as they could not meet the bail condition.

The prosecution alleged that the convicts between 2012 and 2013, with false pretence, duped one Mohamed Malik Sariq, an Indian investor, the sum of US$698,980.

The prosecution also alleged that the first convict -Mohamed M’baqui, falsely imprisoned and made an attempt on the life of the complainant – Mohamed Malik Sariq.

The High Court has proven that Mohamed M’baqui, 48, and Mohamed Mansaray, 41, employed false pretence to dupe the Indian investor.

Mohamed M’baqui had enticed the India investor to travel to Sierra Leone on the pretext that he had diamonds and a vast land for agricultural purpose, whilst his co-convict Mohamed Mansaray posed as a Paramount Chief.

They were convicted for the offences of conspiracy to defraud, causing money to be paid by false pretence, obtaining money by false pretence, obtaining credit by false pretence, demanding money with menaces, forgery, false imprisonment, attempted murder and causing chattel to be delivered by false pretence.

Both convicts had been incarcerated since they were arrested in 2013. The judge also ordered that their time of imprisonment start effectively since the day they were taken to the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown.

He also ordered that the car in which the first convict was arrested be confiscated to the state.

The judge noted that the tough sentencing would serve as lesson to people that are in the habit of tricking and duping investors, noting that such action gives the country a bad image with the potential to scarring investors away.

State Prosecutor, A. Jalloh, had submitted that the convicts should refund the complainant’s money, noting that no amount of imprisonment would be commensurate to the harm the duo caused the Indian investor.

Meanwhile, lead defence counsel Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. has hinted that he would appeal the decision in the Court of Appeal.

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