Dec 13, 2013, 10:11 AM
Magistrate Fatou Darboe of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court recently convicted and sentenced one Amara Sadalah, a Sierra Leonean, to a fine of D7,000 in default to serve two months in prison.
In his plea of mitigation, defence counsel Dayoh Small said the accused person is a young man and a first-time offender, adding that he did not waste the court’s time by admitting the charge.
The facts as narrated by Inspector Jarju stated that it happened some time in July 2014 in the Kanifing Municipality, when one Serign Coker was introduced to the accused by a friend called Hamsa.
According to Hamsa, the accused told him that he works at FI Bank and helps people with bank statements.
Coker had an agreement with the accused to make a bank statement for him. Even though Coker told Sadalah he was not banking with the FI Bank, the accused insisted that he could still make the statement for him, for D1,000.
The accused then bought a bank statement of FI Bank dated 21 July 2014, bearing the name of Serign Coker with account number 0410260281401, indicating an amount of D748,000.
Coker applied for a visa at the Turkish Embassy with the statement, and the Embassy being suspicious that the statement was false contacted FI Bank for verification.
The bank informed the Embassy that it never signed a bank statement for Coker, who in fact was not a customer of the bank. Also, the stamp on the statement was not from the FI Bank.
The embassy then contacted the police, who arrested Coker which led to the arrest of Sadalah. Upon investigating the matter, the police recovered the printer and scanner that Sadalah used to produce the statement. The accused was then cautioned and charged.
The charge sheet stated that in July 2014, at Serrekunda in the Kanifing Municipality, the convict forged an FI Bank statement with account number 0410260281401 bearing Serign Coker purporting to have been signed by Mr Bennet Edet, knowing or having reason to believe such document was false.