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University student, others convicted for forgery

Oct 20, 2010, 12:50 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye & Yusuf Ceesay

Lamin Dampha, a student of the University of The Gambian, and two others namely, Ebrima Jammeh and Balang Barrow, were on 19 October 2010 convicted and sentenced to a fine of D5000 each in default to serve twelve and three months in prison respectively.

They were individually arraigned on a charge of presenting forged bank statements at the American Embassy, to which they all pleaded guilty.

Lamin Dampha was convicted and sentenced to a fine of D5000 in default to serve twelve months in prison with hard labour, while Ebrima Jammeh and Balang Barrow were each convicted and sentenced to a fine of D5000 in default to serve three months in prison each.

Foday Sidibeh, who also faced a similar charge, has absconded, according to the prosecuting officer, Inspector Mballow, who applied to the court under section 107 (1) of the CPC for the amount of D10,000 to be forfeited to the state from the surety, one Alkali Minteh.

Inspector Mballow informed the court that the accused person had absconded to Guinea-Bissau and the surety was given enough time to produce him, but to no avail.

Magistrate Tabally granted the application and ordered the surety to forfeit to the state the sum of D10,000 in default to serve six months in prison with hard labour.

According to the particulars of offence against Foday Sidibeh, the accused in the month of July 2010, at the American Embassy, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, uttered a false Trust Bank statement with a covering letter in the name of one Ekro to the American Visa section, knowing the same to be false.

Narrating the facts of the case concerning Ebrima Jammeh, CPL 3560 Colley informed the court that it happened in the month of July 2010 when the convict, Ebrima Jammeh, was approached by one Sanna Njie, who claimed to be the Managing Director of Roland Clinic. He narrated that the said Sanna Njie told the convict that he had an opportunity to attend a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in the USA.

CPL Colley further narrated that Sanna Njie asked the convict whether he was interested in the journey, and the convict replied in the positive.

He adduced that the said Sanna Njie, in an attempt to secure a USA visa for the convict to attend the conference, on behalf of the Roland Clinic, processed a false Trust Bank statement and attached it to the application visa form in the name of the convict, which was later presented by the convict at the American Embassy together with a covering letter.

Prosecutor Colley further revealed that after presenting the documents, the convict was asked to leave, and would be contacted whenever he was needed.

He added that the embassy sent verification to Trust Bank to confirm the authenticity of the documents, which were later confirmed by the bank to be forged.

After some time, said the prosecutor, the convict was asked to report to the embassy for his passport, and on his arrival he was given a rejection letter with all his supporting documents.

Officer Colley added that on his way out of the embassy, the convict was arrested by police officers, and taken to the police fraud squad in Banjul.