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Sierra Leone
Sunday, July 3, 2022

Social worker testifies in alleged fraud matter

By Jeneba A Conteh 

Social worker, Famata M. Barrie, who is an employee of Donbosco Fambul Sierra Leone, has testified against a former staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs before Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Pademba Road Court No 1  in Freetown .

The accused was arraigned before Magistrate Kekura for allegedly obtaining money by false pretenses contrary to Section 32(1) of the Larceny Act of 1916.

It was alleged that, on a date unknown between 1st to 30th April, 2022, at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Gloucester Street in Freetown, with intent to defraud, the accused obtained the sum of four thousand United States Dollars ($4000) equivalent to forty three million Leones (Le43,000,000,00), from the complainant Samuel Tarawallay by falsely pretending that he will facilitate his travel and five others to Australia, knowing same to be false.

Led in evidence by sergeant Dwight Macathy, prosecution witness No.2, Famata Margert Barri, testified that she recognized the complainant and the accused person and recalled on the 1st and 30th of April, 2019.

She stated that she heard about a program at the Ministry of Internal Affairs to travel to Turkey and that she and her colleague, Samuel Tarawally  and four others, went there for enquiring.

She said they met the accused who introduced himself as the Personal Assistant to the minister and assured them of the said program.

The witness said after that they went home and in two days’ time, she  placed a call to the accused who told her that the said program had closed and that the only available program was an Australian travel  program.

“I asked him about the procedure of the Australian program and he replied that it cost one thousand United States Dollars for one person and that the person should pay fifty percent of the said amount. I raised six hundred United States Dollars while  my other colleagues also raised some amount which amounted to forty three million Leones. I, together with my colleagues and the complainant handed over the money to the accused,” she testified.

She testified that the accused promised to give them a call in two days’ time, but he didn’t.

“I tried to call him but his phone was off. I and my colleagues went there for enquiry and the secretary told us that the accused was on the run. After that, I and my colleagues made statement at the Central Police Station where they issued us warrant of arrest,” she said.

She said one day, her colleagues gave her information that the accused had been arrested.

“I went to the Central Police Station and they took me to the CID so that I can identify the accused. Since then I have not receive my money from the accused person,” she said.

The witness was cross examined by Defense Counsel, E. Tawaralie and  Magistrate Kekura adjourned the matter to the 7th of April 2022 for further hearing.

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