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Bankers’ trial commences

Jan 26, 2015, 10:37 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

The trial of Haddy Jatta, Kabiro Darboe and Momodou Secka, bankers at BSIC bank, who were charged with conspiracy, stealing and fraudulent false accounting, commenced on 22 January 2015, with the testimony of the first prosecution witness before Magistrate Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

Chief Inspector Touray, who was assisted by prosecutors Jarju and Jallow, announced his representation for the state.

Lawyers Mendy and Batchilly represented the accused persons.

Abdourahman Jallow, the first prosecution witness, testified that he lives at Latrikunda Sabiji and is a businessman.

He said he is a foreign currency changer, adding that he could identify Haddy Jatta, which he did.

He told the court that on 28 October 2013, he went to his bureau early in the morning, around 10 a.m., adding that his bureau is called Tumani Foreign Exchange Bureau.

He further testified that Haddy Jatta called him, and asked if he had some dollars.

He told her that he had no dollars, but would ask his relatives at the market, adding that he was able to get $68,969.

He then called Haddy Jatta, and informed her.

Haddy Jatta then asked him to give the dollars to his boy, Samba Mballow, to take to her, and she later called Jallow to say that Samba Mballow gave her the money.

Haddy Jatta then told him that they could not pay at the bank, because the bank had no money.

Ms Jatta told him to look for a bank where he could get dalasis to do RTGS, and Jallow told her to do it through Ecobank, after receiving his bank account number from Samba Mballow.

Haddy Jatta then sent the money to his account at Ecobank, and Samba Mballow received the money at the bank on Jallow’s behalf. The rate he agreed with Ms Jatta was D39.25.

Jallow later paid the customers he took the dollars from on 28 October 2013.

Haddy Jatta subsequently called Jallow and asked him to go to their office.

On his arrival, Jallow was told that he gave them dollars, and he was paid in dalasis, but the bank did not see the dollars.

Jallow then told them that he sold the dollars to them six months ago, and now they said they did not see the dollars.

He told them that he knew nothing about the missing dollars, and was told that they would report the matter to the police.

He told them to go ahead, and was then taken to Kairaba Police Station, from where they were taken to the fraud squad.

Jallow told the court that he was paid D2,707,033.25 for the amount of dollars he sold to the bank, and gave a statement at the fraud squad.

Under cross-examination by lawyer Mendy, the witness told the court that he knew Haddy Jatta for a long time, before she worked for BSIC bank.

He also did business with her at Skye Bank, and was dealing with her in foreign exchange.

He never gave Haddy Jatta money personally, and never had any problem with her concerning money.

Still under cross-examination, he added that he trusted her and this was why he was doing business with her.

He would not know whether Haddy Jatta had stolen the money she was alleged to have stolen, Jallow told the court, adding that he said Samba Mballow had confirmed that he handed the money to Haddy Jatta.

Asked whether he would be surprised to hear that Samba Mballow stated in his statement that he paid the money to Momodou Secka, Jallow said he would not be surprised, because whenever they went to the bank, they would pay the money to Momodou Secka on the instructions of Haddy Jatta.

He did not know Haddy Jatta as a thief, and did not know the meaning of RTGS.

He said he did not know anything about the missing dollars, until he was called in March, and that he waited for a long time before the D2,707,033.25 was transferred to his account at Ecobank at 4 p.m.

He also told the court that since he was paid in dalasis, it implied that the dollars were received, adding that he was issued with a RTGS receipt.

At this juncture, Lawyer Mendy applied for the witness to produce the said RTGS receipt and her application was granted.

The case was adjourned to 28 January 2015, for continuation.

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