Clearing agent appears before commission

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Momodou Alpha Jallow, a clearing agent working with Gatson Company, yesterday testified before the commission of inquiry looking into the assets and financial transactions of former president Yahya Jammeh.

He said he lives at Sukuta and he has been working as a clearing agent for over ten years at the ports, adding that he knows Apam and the managing director Tony Ghattas.

Mr Jallow said he deposited money for Apam and the money came from the proceeds from the quarry at Gunjur.

He informed the commission that Patrick Mendy and Ebrima Jallow are working for Gatson Company.

He adduced that Mr Ghattas gave him money which he deposited at GTBank, adding that his company does not have an agent to sell sand.

Mr Jallow testified that he withdrew money from Apam account, because he was sent by the accountant, and one Mr John.

He said Mr John would issue him with a cheque, and after cashing the cheque, he would hand over the money to Mr Ghattas, adding that he handed over D8,000,000 to Mr Ghattas.

He stated that he pays tax and receives salary, and also pays his social security contribution.

The next person to testify was Patrick Bedema, who said he is Ghanaian.

He posited that he came to visit his uncle and he is working for Afric Star, adding that he has been working for the company for 6 years.

Mr Bedema adduced that he is an auto painter and Affric Star deals in transportation, adding that they would go to the ports to carry goods.

He stated that he did not know how many trucks the company has, and that they painted more than 20 trucks.

He adduced that he did not know Apam, adding that he knows that drivers go with trucks and carry sand, but he did not know where they came from.

He testified that he withdrew money from Apam account, adding that there are few people working at the garage at Nyambai, and it is managed by Tony Ghattas.

He also said he withdrew over D1,000,000 and gave it to one Mr George, adding that he receives salary from Mr Ghattas and he also pays tax.

He adduced that he would sometimes deposit and withdraw money at GTBank.

Wen Zheng, a Chinnese national, also testified before the commission, and said he is an engineer.

He stated that he work with Carnegie Minerals Company, and that a Chinese company called Astrom brought him to The Gambia.

Mr Zheng said he worked for Carnegie Minerals in 2008, and that he went back to China when Carnegie stopped business.

He stated that he worked for Gamico in 2010, and it was Mr Ghattas who asked him to return to The Gambia.

He testified that he knew Mr Ghattas since 2008, and that he knew Apam through Mr Ghattas.

He adduced that he also worked for Apam and was paid a salary but they did not sign a contract, adding that it was Mr Ghattas who asked him to work for Apam.

Mr Zheng revealed that with the installation of machines on the site, you need many Chinese workers, and that Tony Ghattas brought the Chinese workers in the country, adding that he received $2,700 as his salary.

He stated that he knew a company called Shanghai Gambia, and that it was set up in 2016, adding that they did not start any business with Shanghai Gambia.

He further testified that he has 5% share at Shanghai Gambia, and it is managed by Ghattas.

Author: Dawda Faye
Source: Picture: Janneh Commission panel