US$3,400 theft lands man in remand


April 30, 2015 By Hawa Amara

One Augustine Kettor was yesterday remanded at the Male Correctional Center on Pademba Road for allegedly obtaining the sum of US$3,400 from a certain Bobson Koroma by falsely pretending that he had a Toyota four runner vehicle for sale.

The accused was arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on one count of obtaining money by false pretence.

According to the police prosecutor, the accused on Monday, 29 December, 2014 at Cline Town, east of Freetown, obtained the said sum on the pretext that he was owner of a Toyota four runner jeep at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay.

The complaint, Bobson Koroma, told the court that on 1 December, 2014 he received a telephone call from one Mohamed who was with the accused, and that the latter had identified himself as Francis Kai-Samba whilst they were talking on the phone and told him about a vehicle at the quay for sale.

“I went to the Queen Elizabeth II Quay together with one Mohamed who identified himself as the brother of the accused. Three vehicles were shown to me and I pointed the one that I wanted. Later Mohamed told me to meet the owner of the vehicle (the accused) at UBA bank at Cline Town,” the complainant explained.

Koroma said the accused told him to pay US$3,400 for the said vehicle. He said on 29 December, 2014 he and his brother Basie, the accused and Mohamed went to the quay to pay for the vehicle when the accused told him not to pay in the office because it was crowded, but to find somewhere secluded.

He said after payment was made the accused gave him a receipt which was not signed. He said he informed the accused that the receipt was not authentic but told it was a temporal receipt and should collect the vehicle at around 3pm.

He said when he contacted the accused at 3pm the latter said his boss was not around and that he should come the following day to collect the vehicle.

“The next day I called the accused and he texted me that at around 4pm I should collect the vehicle. At around 4:30pm I called the accused, he picked up and then turned off his phone,” the complainant explained, adding that he subsequently made a report at the Ross Road police station.

He further told the court that detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarter later called to inform him they had arrested a suspect he should come to identify. He said he went to the CID and identified the accused as the person who had duped him.

“Statement was obtained from me at the CID and since then the accused has not given me back my money or the vehicle,” he told the court.

The witness was cross-examined by defence counsel C.F. Edwards.

The matter was adjourned to 6 May for further hearing.