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US$7m fraud lands two in prison

May 5, 2017 By Rafieu Williams

Principal Magistrate of Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.1, Dr. Abou Bhakarr Binneh-Kamara, yesterday, Thursday, 4th   May, 2017, remanded two accused persons at both the Male and Female Correctional Centres in Freetown for conspiring to defraud a Ghanaian businesswoman the sum of US$7m.

The two alleged fraudsters, Alhassan Bangura and Damba Koroma, were in court on preliminary investigation for one count charge of conspiracy to defraud contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP) Samuel Kamara, alleged that both accused on diverse dates between April, 2011, and December 2016, conspired with unknown persons to defraud one Fitnat Omari Ababio, a Ghanaian businesswoman, the sum of seven million United States Dollars (UD$7m) equivalent to five trillion, one hundred and eighty billion, one hundred and thirty million Leones from. (Le5, 180,130,000).

He told the court that further investigation would be conducted on the matter and that more charges would be added to the previous one.

In his alternative bail and discharge application for and on behalf of the accused persons, Lawyer A.K Kamara, told the Bench that the accused persons had already spent twenty days in police custody.

He added, “Because the prosecutor had indicated that they intend to conduct further investigations on the matter, it would do more harm to the accused persons if they are remanded.”

“My lord, the money for which the accused persons are before you is a huge sum. Because there is no compensation in our law books for unlawful detention, and the prosecution had applied that they intend to conduct further investigation, I want to respectably apply for a discharge or bail,” he submitted.

However, the prosecutor, ASP Kamara objected to the application of Lawyer A.K Kamara on the grounds that the sum for which the accused persons were before the court was huge and the son of the second accused (Damba Koroma) is the principal suspect in the matter.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Kamara refused bail and remanded both accused and adjourned the matter to 10th May, 2017 for continuation.

In another development in the same court, Magistrate Kamara also remanded Mohamed Jalloh and Amadu Jalloh, on two count charges of conspiracy and receiving stolen goods contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.

The prosecution alleged that both accused on 24th September, 2016, in Freetown, conspired with unknown persons to defraud the government of Sierra Leone, adding that the accused persons on the above date received quantity of Free Healthcare drugs belonging to the government of Sierra Leone.


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