#Article (Archive)

Gamtel staff convicted for economic crime

May 5, 2015, 10:56 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Kutubo Sanneh, a staff of Gamtel, was yesterday convicted and sentenced on charges of economic crime and stealing, by the Special Criminal Court in Banjul presided over by Justice Amadi.

The conviction and sentencing followed Kutubo Sanneh’s own plea of guilt to the charges preferred against him.

Lawyer SMB Conteh represented the convict, while the DPP SH Barkun and Olimatou Danso represented the state.

Narrating the facts before the court, DPP Barkun said it happened around September 2014, when the Gamtel Managing Director discovered there was a drop in the sale of scratch cards.

The MD then instructed one Bass to look into the issue to find out why the sale was dropping, adding that while looking at the system, they discovered credit transfer using the operator’s login, which marked doors of the accused person.

The DPP added that those logins were done at odd hours or sessions.

During those sessions, he said, the accused person used the passwords of one Fatou Touray, an ex-Gamtel employee, and transported the sum of D52, 949.24 to various customers.

He said the accused was reported to the police with regards to the findings of the system translator.

Upon the reports, the accused made confessional statements admitting guilt in both his cautionary and voluntary statements.

According to the DPP, the accused had access to the system by virtue of his position as a sales officer.

The accused accepted the facts, saying the system was created by Gamtel to help customers and he did it to help customers, the DPP narrated.

He said Gamtel/Gamcel is a corporate body and a government-owned company, so the act of the accused had caused financial loss to them to the tune of D52,949.24.

It was also evident that Gamtel/Gamcel’s property worth of D52,949.24 was converted to the use of the accused or any other person, which constitute an act of stealing, DPP further narrated.

He said the case diary did not show any record of previous conviction.

In his plea of mitigation, SMB Conteh, counsel for the accused, said the accused was a first-time offender and did not waste the time of the court.

He said the remorse in his face showed that he had regretted what he did and he was brave enough to say he did it.

The accused is married with three children and the sole breadwinner of his family, the counsel said, adding that he would not dwell in the act anymore and had learnt his lessons that in 19 years of service, no pay and no gratuity; all forfeited to the state.

He said they wanted the court to impose a fine so he could be given a second chance in life.

“We want the court to temper justice with mercy, as he is a young offender,” he said.

Justice Abi after listening to the facts narrated in court and the plea of mitigation from the defence counsel, convicted the accused as follows.

In count one, the accused was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of D52,949.24 payable in 14 days in default to serve 10 years in prison with hard labour.

In count two, the accused was ordered to pay D10,000 payable within 14 days in default to serve 5 years in prison with hard labour.

The accused was also ordered to pay a compensation fee to Gamtel in the sum of 52,949.24 for the loss payable within 14 days in default to serve 10 years in prison with hard labour.

The sentences are to run concurrently.