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Sainey Barrow, a visa dealer, was on 28 November 2013 dragged to the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court by one Alagie Suso for his failure to procure a visa for him after he paid him for the service.
Testifying before Magistrate Jobarteh, who had just resumed work from his leave, Alagie Suso told the court he lives at Brikama and he is a security guard at Gampetroleum.
He said he knows the defendant, Sainey Barrow, adding that he had cause to deal with the defendant on 17 July 2010.
He adduced that he went to the defendant together with his two brothers to discuss with him about travelling, adding that he wanted the defendant to procure a visa for him.
The plaintiff, Alagie Suso, stated that the agreement was for the defendant to procure a Schengen visa with an air ticket for him, further positing that a Schengen visa cannot be used to travel to Eastern countries in Europe.
Mr Suso revealed that the defendant asked him to pay him D125,000 for a visa and an air ticket, adding that the defendant assured him that he would procure the visa and the air ticket in a month’s time. He did pay the defendant the said amount for the service, he said.
He adduced that he first paid the defendant D40,000 on 17 July 2010, and D27,500 on 31 July 2010, as the second payment, adding that the third payment was D55,400.
Suso posited that after he paid D55,400, the balance was D2,100.
Moses Richards, who was representing the plaintiff, applied to the court to tender three receipts of payment Mr Suso received from the defendant.
Lawyer Edu Gomez, who represented the defendant, did not make any objection. The court admitted the receipts.
Suso further testified that before paying the D55,400, the defendant told him the visa was available and asked him to pay half of the total sum, and that the air ticket was ready.
He testified that he gave the defendant his passport, adding that he did all the payment, except for the D2,100, and that the defendant did not give him the visa.
Suso adduced that he asked the defendant to give him the passport to see the visa but the defendant told him he had not been operating that way.
He said the defendant told him he would photocopy the visa on the passport and give the plaintiff the photocopied one and keep the original, which the defendant did.
Suso told the court that he travelled to Dakar to collect the visa but did not get the visa.
When he met the defendant in Dakar, he explained, the defendant took them into a parlour and wrote their names and passport numbers and asked them to return to The Gambia.
Suso said the defendant took from him D2,100, which was the balance to be paid to him.
He posited further that the defendant gave them photocopied visas when they told him they wanted to show the visas to their parents, adding that he did not agree with the defendant to procure a photocopied visa for him.
Suso revealed that Romania was written on the visa and he did not know whether it was a genuine visa or not.
At this juncture, Moses Richards applied to tender the passport with the visa. The defendant’s counsel did not raise any objection and the document was admitted by the court.
He further posited that when he returned from Senegal, the defendant asked him to wait for him for the visa.
Suso narrated that the defendant told them that when they arrived at the airport, they would use the visa for Spain and there were some people who would pick them from the airport, adding that the passport was with the defendant.
He testified that the defendant told them he would give them their passports the day they would be flying from The Gambia, and that he would buy tickets and would give them the passports to travel.
Suso adduced that they went to the airport at the waiting lounge and the defendant came and gave him his passport, adding that they went to the Spanair desk because the defendant told them he bought tickets for them.
He said that at the Spanair desk, their visas were checked and declared fake, adding that they were stopped from travelling.
Suso narrated that the defendant failed to give him his passport and told him that he, the defendant, would try another way.
He said it was two months ago when the defendant gave him back his passport, adding that the defendant failed to refund him his money but said he would give him half of the money because the defendant said he had at least done some transactions for him.
Suso testified that he did not agree to be paid half of his money, adding that he had suffered some losses and had sold his vehicle.
He adduced that when his child was sick, he went to the defendant for him to pay him his money but the defendant told him he had no money. His child, he added, passed away.
At this juncture, Lawyer Edu Gomez rose and cross-examined Mr Suso to challenge, discredit and contradict him.
“You approached the defendant for a visa?” asked Lawyer Gomez.
“Yes, together with an air ticket,” Suso replied.
“Do you know the defendant as a diplomat where visas are issued?” Lawyer Gomez enquired.
“The defendant told us that he could procure visas for us and that he has an office for procuring visas,” said Suso.
“Was that the first day you met the defendant?” questioned Lawyer Gomez.
“Yes,” answered Suso.
“You just woke up one day and told the defendant to procure a visa for you?” Lawyer Gomez asked.
“My brother told me that the defendant procures visas for people and asked me to go to him,” Suso replied.
“Is your brother one of your brothers who told the defendant to procure a visa for him?” enquired Lawyer Gomez.
“Yes,” said Suso.
“You knew the transaction was unofficial,” Lawyer Gomez put it to Suso.
“I never knew,” Suso answered.
At this juncture, the case was adjourned till 3 December 2013.