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Magbass fraud case continues in court

By Aminata Phidelia Allie

A second prosecution witness yesterday testified in the alleged case of embezzlement involving a staff member of the Magbass Sugar Company in Magbass village, northern Sierra Leone.

The accused, Samuel Thomas Bangura, who is facing a two-count charge of embezzlement, made his second appearance in court two weeks after his first.

Testifying before Magistrate Komba Kamanda of Court No. 2 in Freetown, Assistance Resource Manager of the company, Kenneth Swarray said that the General Manager had summoned an emergency meeting sometime in June to inform them of an alleged misappropriation within the company, “especially in the sales division and particularly in Bangura’s unit”.

He explained that Bangura, who was also in the meeting was asked to give an account of how he had gone about his sales in the Western Area, which, according to the witness “he failed to do”.

“That was when I was called upon to begin an investigation into his conduct”, he testified, and so together with the accused and the commercial manager, he left Magbass Village for Freetown.

His first priority, he went on, was to “identify points of sales”, which he said he did with the cooperation of the accused. PW2 further told the court that after looking up the addresses of customers sent to the commercial manager by Bangura, he realized that some were incorrect and made his observations known to the accused “there and then”.

“At that point, he asked me to help him avoid losing his job and facing a court trial”, he said, adding that when they got to the office, with his phone switched off, the accused confessed to him that he (accused) had already spent Le 60 million to obtain a visa to travel abroad.

The witness went on that the accused even offered him his laptop so that he would not be exposed. “I stopped my investigation at that point and reported to management, also presenting the laptop as an exhibit”, PW1 testified in court, however stating that the report was in an oral form.

He was refused bail and the matter adjourned to Monday, August 5.

© Politico 30/07/13