By Blessing C. Cole
Two alleged fraudsters, Salamatu Samura and Mohamed Lamin Bangura were on Monday remanded at the Male and Female Correctional Centres by Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Ross Road Court No.1 for allegedly defrauding thousands of Leones.
The accused persons are before the court on six counts of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences and other related offences contrary to law.
It was alleged that the accused persons on diverse dates between the 6th November 2022, and February 2023, at Maboreh, Calaba Town in Freetown, conspired with other persons unknown to defraud thousands of Leones from Osman Dumbuya, Abubakar Suma and Abubkar Sawaneh, pretending that they would facilitate their travelling from Sierra Leone to Canada, knowing same to be false.
Testifying in court, first prosecution witness, Osman Dumbuya, recognised the accused persons and recalled on the day in question.
Osman told the court that on that day, he was in Guinea when he received a phone call from an unknown person, who identified herself as Salamatu Samura-the 1st accused.
He said the 1st accused asked him as to what he was currently doing in Guinea, and that he replied that he was a labourer.
He said the 1st accused asked him to keep in touch with her, promising that she would call him in three days’ time.
The witness explained that after the three days, the 1st accused asked if he had the chance to come to Sierra Leone for him to travel to Canada, asking further whether he could accept such an offer.
He said he responded in the affirmative, adding that he asked to know whether the travel program was legal and genuine.
He said the 1st accused told him that she would consult the 2nd (Mohamed Lamin Bangura) who happens to be his brother, adding that on the following day, the 1st accused informed him that her brother had asked him to forward his passport, ID card among others, which he did.
PW 1 said after three days, the 2nd accused informed him that he had succeeded to be among those who would be travelling to Canada.
The witness said he also informed the 1st accused about what the 2nd accused person told him and that when he asked her about the cost of the entire process, the 1st accused told him that NLe14, 000.
Osman told the court that the 1st accused asked him to come to Freetown, adding that on the 6th November, 2022, he arrived in Freetown and the 2nd accused took him to his residence at Calaba Town in Freetown.
The witness said on Monday, the 2nd accused took him and his parents to their office situated at Wan Word Garage in Freetown and that upon their arrival, the 2nd accused asked how much he brought for the program and he told him that he brought NLe5, 500, which he handed over to him at the said office.
He said after the payment, his father requested for a receipt, but that the 2nd accused told him that, as long he was with his parents they would not issue him a receipt.
He added that the 2nd accused later lodged him at his residence informing him that he had to undergo basic training at Wan Word Garage.
After the two weeks training at Wan Garage, he said he was transferred to the head office at Maboreh Junction, Calaba Town in Freetown.
He told the court that he asked the 1st and 2nd accused about the way forward, and that the 1st accused told him that the company was ready and willing to offer him two spaces for the program.
He said upon receiving the information, he called his friend, Dauda Suma and explained to him about the program and Dauda later told his father about the program.
He said Dauda and his father met with the 1st and 2nd accused and gave NLe17,000 to the 2nd accused on behalf of his son, Dauda Suma.
The witness concluded his evidence by saying that the 1st and 2nd accused had been on the run and that subsequently they were apprehended at Consider Lane, Calaba Town and taken to the Wellington Police Post in Freetown.
The witness was cross examined by Lawyer M. A. Conteh on behalf of his clients and he later renewed his application for bail on behalf of his clients, but they were refused bail and remanded at the Male and Female Correctional Centres.
The matter was prosecuted by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mohamed B. Bangura and the matter was adjourned to 26th September, 2023.