Gambian charged for allegedly obtaining 180,000 Euros by false pretence

Wednesday, January 13, 2016
One Yusupha Saidy alias “Yusu” was yesterday arraigned before senior magistrate Abdoulie Fatty of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, charged with conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.

The bill of indictment presented before the court in count one stated that the accused, Yusupha Saidy, some time in April 2015 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, with intent to defraud, jointly conspired with Mr Watara, an Ivorian national, Mr Basir, a South African national, and Seedy Ahmed, a Senegalese national (all at large) and obtained 180,000 Euros for the purpose of transportation and customs clearance from one Omar Faruk Deniz.

The prosecutors also accused Yusupha Saidy, along with Mr Watara, Mr Basir and Seedy Ahmed, that in April 2015 in Banjul and diverse places in The Gambia, with intent to defraud, jointly obtained 180,000 Euros, for the transportation and customs clearance of 100 metal boxes containing US$15 million, 10 tonnes of gold, some diamonds and portraits from one Omar Faruk Deniz, with the pretext of clearing and transporting goods for him knowing same to be false.

He denied any wrongdoing.

The prosecuting officer, Inspector Manga, told the court the matter was under investigation and applied for an adjournment to allow the investigators to complete their work.

Arguing for bail, defence counsel Luna Farage and B.S. Conteh told the court that the offence committed is bailable, and applied for the accused person to be granted bail.

Counsel Farage said the constitution is enough to guide the court, citing other decided cases to support her argument for bail for her client.

She said the burden lies on the state to prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt against their client.

Submitting further, counsel Farage said count two “is a misdemeanour”, which is a bailable offence in the eyes of the law.

She said their client had been in custody, for between 7 and 8 months, without being charged and had no access to his families and friends.

In response, Inspector Manga told the court that the prosecution objected to bail for the accused person.

The prosecution believes that if the accused person was granted bail, he would interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses before the completion of the investigation.

“Looking at the sum involved is huge, he may flee from the jurisdiction for fear of facing the trial; as such, it’s safe to remand him in prison custody.”

The accused person had been in the business industry for years and he is a well-known person in The Gambia, so it would be easier for him to flee from the jurisdiction, the police prosecutor continued.

He said three of Saidy’s co-accused persons are all at large, and the investigators could not get them for possible prosecution.

Delivering the ruling, the trial magistrate told the court that the prosecution objected to bail for the accused because he might jump bail.

However, the court could not violate Saidy’s constitutional right since the alleged offence is bailable, he added.

The magistrate granted him bail on the following conditions: The accused person is granted bail of D1 million with two Gambian sureties one of whom must swear to an affidavit of means and surrender his original title deed to the court.

The bail condition further indicated that one of the sureties must deposit the title deed of a property within the Greater Banjul Area valued at the mentioned amount.

He said the accused person should report to the Banjul Police Station every Monday from 9am to 1 pm.

The case was adjourned until 27 January 2016.

Author: Bakary Samateh