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Man faces multiple fraud charges

Sep 29, 2011, 12:16 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

One Muhammed Ceesay was last Tuesday arraigned before the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, charged with four counts of obtaining money by false pretence and one count of forgery.

Ceesay, who denied the charges, was alleged to have collected monies from people, as well as making false documents with the pretext of taking them to Europe, which he knew was false.

Testifying for the prosecution, Francis Obinna, told the court that it was in January when the accused person meet him and entered in his vehicle.

He told the court that the accused person asked him if he was the owner, and he replied in the affirmative, adding that the accused further told him that he has pity for Nigerians, saying that ‘when they come to the Gambia they suffer a lot’”.

The first prosecution witness added that the accused person then asked him if he would like to travel to Europe, and that he replied “yes”.

“I told him that I did not have money right now. We exchanged phone numbers, and started to communicate with each other,” he told the court.

According to the witness, the accused person told him to give him his photographs to provide a passport for him, and that there was no need for him to go to Nigeria for a passport.

“The accused asked me to pay D120, 000 for the visa, passport, reservation, and flight ticket together with my vehicle, which I did in the presence of my brother, one Mathieu,” he alleged, adducing that he made the payments in April 2011.

The witness further told the court that the accused person failed to give him a receipt, and when he asked him for his visa, the accused said to him that it was at the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar.

“On arrival at the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar to collect the passport, the accused asked me to wait and instead brought a Guinea Bissau passport to me, and he told me to travel with it to Morocco,” he continued.

The witness added that the accused further informed him that when he reached Morocco, he would contact his brother, who would buy him another ticket to German. He said he refused to accept this arrangement.

“The accused then dropped me at the Senegal airport,” he said, noting that the accused later called his brother who came to pick him up.

He revealed that the Bissau passport was seized from him by a policeman at the Dakar airport.

Asked by the prosecutor, Cadet ASP Manneh, whether the accused gave him any other documents, apart from what he said, the witness responded in the affirmative.

He told the court that the accused gave him a Gambian ID card, Gambia passport, flight ticket, reservation, invitation letter to Malaysia, a Sierra-Leonean passport, a traveller’s cheque for 1000 Euro, and a yellow vaccination card.

He adduced that the Gambian ID card and passport bore the name of one Kebba Ceesay with his (the witness) pictures, adding that he left the Gambian passport at Dakar.

He adduced that the said documents were given to him in the presence of the accused person’s brother in Dakar.

The prosecutor applied to tender them, but the accused raised an objection.

However, the trial magistrate admitted and tendered them in evidence, stating that the weight of the documents would depend on how the case proceeded.

The witness further testified that whilst in Dakar, he went to verify the authenticity of the said documents, and he was told that they were not genuine. 

He told the court that when he came back to The Gambia, he explained the matter to the Immigration Officers at Hamdalai border, and he gave them all the documents.

According to him, he was brought to Banjul and he identified the accused person’s residence to the officers, and he was arrested.

He said his statement was recorded, which he identified and it was tendered in evidence.

The case continues on 4 October 2011.