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Banker Testifies in Briton Case

Jun 26, 2009, 6:21 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Another banker, working with the Standard Chartered Bank, has testified for the prosecution in the on-going false traveler's cheque case involving one Gerald Sheehy, a British national.

Gerald Sheehy is standing trial for allegedly selling false traveler's cheques.

Testifying before the court, Ngoneh Joof told the court that she recognised the accused person. She adduced that she came to know the accused when he came to the bank to cash American Express traveler's cheques.

She indicated that the accused came in more than once. She explained that when she asked for his ID card for identification, the accused presented his ID card. And then she checked the accused's cheques and confirmed the amount.

According to her, she told the accused the exchange rate.

She testified that later her boss brought back the cheques to her and the form which she handed over to the cashier. She told the court that the accused had come with a large sum of money the last time he came to the bank. Ngoneh said she had encouraged the accused to open an account with them, but he told her that he "was going".

Further testifying, she told the court that her boss called her and told her that the cheques were false.

She said often when such things happen, they normally go back to the file and look for the address of the customer. She adduced further that the accused gave her his telephone number and when she called him, he answered. She added that she asked the accused to come down to the bank. She stated that the accused asked whether there was a problem. She further testified that the accused met her in a restaurant where he was arrested.

During cross-examination, the Defence Counsel, Badou Conteh asked the witness the kind of financial qualification she needs to get to become a chartered accountant.

In response, she stated that she acquires ACCA and also pursued a training course by the bank.

"You are not qualified to be a Chartered accountant," Badou Conteh put it to her.

"Yes, it is true," she answered. Badou Conteh again put it to her that on 30th January 2009, the accused complied with the rules and regulations by giving her documents. She responded that the accused only gave her his ID card and that she accepted it. She confirmed that the process was done correctly.

When asked whether by filing the cheques she knew whether they were false, she answered in the positive.

"When the accused presented the cheques, did you check whether they were genuine?" Badou Conteh asked.

"My boss approved the transaction by me and the accused. They were genuine cheques," she responded. She added that her boss authorises by check-by."

"It was correct that your boss signed the check-by?" Badou Conteh answered that physical cheques are sent to American Express for confirmation.

"Nobody detected that the cheques were fraudulent," Badou Conteh said to her.

"American Express knows whether physical cheques are correct," she responded.

"The physical checking was done after the incident took place," Badou Conteh put it to her.

In response, she adduced that the accused came on three occasions and that vouchers were cleared by her supervisor and payment approved by her boss.