Freetown, Sierra Leone – Mohamed Lamin Bangura and Salamatu Samura find themselves behind bars at the maximum-security prison facility in Freetown over allegations of fraudulent activities. The accused individuals are alleged to have defrauded Osman Dumbuya of thousands of New Leones by falsely claiming to have facilitated a program for Dumbuya to travel to Canada. They now face six counts of charges, including conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, and related offenses.
According to the police charge sheet, between November 6, 2022, and February 2023, at Maboreh in Calaba Town, Freetown, the accused persons conspired with unidentified individuals and collected thousands of Leones from Osman Dumbuya, Abubakar Suma, and Abubakarr Sawaneh, falsely promising to facilitate their travel to Canada.
Testifying before Magistrate Sahr Kekura at Ross Road Court No. 1 in Freetown, prosecution witness Dumbuya recalled the events leading to the alleged fraud. He explained that while he was in Guinea, he received a call from Salamatu Samura (the first accused), who informed him about the program. Dumbuya was asked to come to Freetown with his passport, ID card, and other documents, which he did. A few days later, Mohamed Lamin Bangura (the second accused) informed him that he had been selected to travel to Canada and requested a payment of Le 14,000.
Dumbuya stated that on November 6, 2022, he met with the second accused at his residence in Calaba Town, where he handed over Le 5,500. Despite his request, he did not receive a receipt. After two weeks of alleged training by the accused individuals, Dumbuya inquired about the program’s progress. Instead of clarification, the accused informed him that there were two more available slots in the program.
Dumbuya then involved his friend Dauda Suma, who paid Le 17,000 to the second accused for his son’s participation. Suma, like Dumbuya, requested a receipt but did not receive one. The accused again mentioned that there were more available slots. In response, Suma brought his friend Abu Bakarr Sawaneh, who paid Le 35,000 New Leones.
It was only later that Dumbuya and Suma realized that the entire program was a fraud. They promptly reported the matter to the Wellington Police Station, leading to the arrest of both accused individuals.
During the proceedings, Defense Counsel M. A. Conteh cross-examined the witness on behalf of his clients and renewed a previous bail application. However, Magistrate Kekura remanded the accused persons in custody, and the case was adjourned to September 26, 2023. SKS/19/9/2023