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US$800m fraud:

Network Proximity Director testifies

February 8, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

The Director of Network Proximity Limited SL, Dominic Anselm Joseph Beary, yesterday narrated in the Freetown High Court how Mohamed Osman Sesay swindled his company the sum of US$800,000 last year.

Inside the docked, accused Mohamed Osman Sesay showed visible unease as he took note while the principal witness gave his testimony before Justice Miatta M. Samba.
He is accused of defrauding the complainant of the aforementioned money on the pretext that the government has liberalised the international telecommunications gateway and was requesting fees monies from the company for the purchase of license.

His co-accused, Dennis Jones, who initially fled the jurisdiction, is before the court on one count of conspiracy, but is being tried separately.

Prosecutors allege that Jones had published an article in the Salone Champion newspaper purporting that the Sierra Leone government had agreed to award an international gateway license to Network Proximity Ltd. SL.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) prosecutor, Ade Macaulay, led Beary in evidence as the seventh prosecution witness. The witness said the accused initially requested the sum US$110,000 from him, which he paid into an account at Guaranty Trust Bank as fees for license to guarantee the operations of his company.

He informed the court that the first request made by the accused was via an email with an attachment of the Salone Champion newspaper published on 4 May, 2015, and that that convinced him to send the money after contacting one John Mason to crosscheck the authenticity of the article carried in the said newspaper.

He told the court that he also sent US$108,000 to the accused as fees for NATCOM license after he received an email request from the accused.

He explained how several transactions relating to request for monies were made by the accused, which he paid. He told the court how he also received several documents from government ministries through the accused, including letters purportedly written by the Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Kanu.

The ACC prosecutor referred the witness to several documents from GTBank. He disclosed to the court that he subsequently realised that the accused had been impersonating Minister Alpha Kanu while speaking to him on phone.

“I came to Sierra Leone in August 2015 after I suspected fraud from the accused, owing to his persistent request for additional monies, the lack of receipts to support the transactions, and the credibility of the accused was questioned,” Beary told the court.

When asked about his feelings so far, Beary said he felt “deceived, very, very upset in investing in this country”, as the attitude of the accused has the tendency to drive away ‘potential investors’ from the country.

He said the network is owned by a group of investors in the United Kingdom, United States of America and France.

Meanwhile, the accused was returned to the maximum security prisons at Pademba Road in Freetown as he is yet to meet his Le2.5 billion bail condition.

The matter will come up again today.

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