Over Le1 billion was allegedly stolen from Ecobank in Makeni between the 1st January 2018 and 2nd October 2019. The four accused are employees of the Bank in Makeni; Mohamed S. Kamara, Abdul B. Conteh, Mohamed Senesie and Mohamed Jalloh. They were arraigned before Magistrate Mark Ngegba at the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 2 on Pademba Road in Freetown. They were sent to the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown. According to the Police, the accused conspired with others and stole Le912,600,000. The Police allege Abdul B. Conteh stole Le57 million. It was also alleged that the accused found a document purporting to show that Abdul B. Conteh received the sum of Le200 million. The Police also alleged that the accused performed unlawful banking transactions without documentation. Furthermore, the accused used Le912,600,000 to give an unauthorized loan to an unauthorized person. The accused were charged with conspiracy to defraud, larceny by fraud contrary to Section 17 (1a) of the Larceny Act of 1916, forgery contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Forgery Act, altering a false document contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Forgery Act, transacting a banking business contrary to Section 7c of the Banking Act of 2019, and money laundering contrary to Section 50 (1c) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act No.2 of 2012. According to the Police witness, Gibrilla Kamara, on 1st October 2019, at the Makeni Police Station, the 1st accused, Mohamed S. Kamara was arrested. On 1st and 2nd October 2019, he obtained statements from the complainant. On 2nd October 2019, himself and a team of police officers obtained voluntary cautioned statement from the 1st and 3rd accused, which they admitted to be true and correct, and on the 4th October 2019, the matter was sent to the Regional Officer for further investigation.
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Defense counsel requested bail but the prosecuting counsel presented an affidavit, which automatically disqualified the defense plea. However, the defense counsel described the affidavit, which the prosecuting counsel used to object to bail as default, for they said, the deponent did not sign the affidavit. Magistrate Mark Ngeba refused bail, and he adjourned the matter to 29 October 2019.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay
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