Apr 24, 2008, 5:20 AM
After changing his plea from 'not guilty' to 'guilty,' one Amadou Kogo Sowe was recently convicted for selling fake gold dust, and sentenced on count one to a fine of D5000, in default to serve six months in prison by Senior Magistrate Abdoulie Mbacke of the Kanifing Magistrates' Court.
On count two, the accused was convicted and sentenced to a fine of D10, 000, in default to serve one year imprisonment with hard labour.
In his judgment, Magistrate Mbacke stated that the court heard and considered the plea for leniency made by the convict, but it was of the view that he deserved some punishment, as a deterrent.
He stated that the convict, for all intents and purposes, was not an honest person because of the fact that he had been trying to sell to the public fake gold, knowing full well that the said gold dust was not pure gold.
According to the Magistrate, mixing genuine gold with some other stuff, which is not gold at all, and presenting it to the public as pure gold dust, his action amounted to robbing bona fide purchasers of their money. This was under the pretext that the gold they are buying from him is a genuine one, when in actual fact it is a fake one, he added.
The court and the law enforcement agencies are duty-bound to put a stop to such malpractices, he added.
Magistrate Mbacke further indicated that such malpractices are becoming very common in the country, and that if allowed to continue will seriously affect those engaged in the business of selling gold jewellery, hence the public will no longer have confidence in them.
"Trading in fake gold dust is illegal, and anything connected with it is also illegal," he told the court.
According to the particulars of offence, on count one, the convict, Amadou Kogo Sowe, in the month of July 2008, at Bambo, attempted to sell 24.006 kg of gold dust to one Mohamed Bayomi, knowing that the same gold dust was a fake.
Count two stated that during the same period and place the convict was found in possession of 24.006 kg of gold dust, knowing that the same gold dust was a fake.