2 Alvihag branch managers arraigned for allegedly stealing over D1M

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By Aisha Tamba

Two Alvihag supermarket staff, Kamal Adwani and Mayank Parijani, were yesterday arraigned at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing over one million dalasis from the supermarket’s branches at Westfield and Bijilo.

The duo were before Magistrate M. Faal facing conspiracy to commit a felony and stealing by clerk or servant.

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After the charge sheet was read in court, both accused persons pleaded guilty to stealing and not conspiracy to commit felony. In their defense, the accused persons stated that they work at different branch stores, therefore they had not conspired.

The first accused Kamal Adwani, the branch manager at Westfield is charged with stealing one million dalasis while the second accused Mayank Parijani, branch manager at Bijilo was charged with conspiring and stealing 715, 000 dalasis.

However, Magistrate M Faal pointed out that the Kanifing court lacks the jurisdiction to prosecute the second accused Mayank Parijani. She, therefore, granted him bail in the sum of D50, 000 with two Gambian sureties on count one which is conspiring to commit felony. She also ordered for him to be properly arraigned before the Brusubi court which has jurisdiction to hear his case.

Reading the facts of the case, sub-inspector Lamin Jammeh told the court that the proprietor of Alvihag, Vijay Aswani, realized that his business is going down in the two areas and decided to check the branches in a form of a surprise visit.

He explained that the proprietor first went to Westfield where the first accused person is the branch manager, to do a check and then proceeded straight to the counter. He stated that the proprietor found 70,000 dalasis hidden under the table which is against his rules in his supermarkets. “Which is, all monies should be kept in a safe. There should be no money displayed outside. When Mr. Aswani saw the money, this made him suspicious and reported that to Kairaba police station to investigate the matter.” 

Police prosecutor Jammeh further narrated that an iPhone 13 was also found on the first accused Kamal Adwani which is against the rules of the store. He said according to the rules of the store, staff are only allowed to use a simple phone during working hours.   

He added that the accused person was arrested and investigations mounted into the matter which revealed that he stole one million dalasis between October 2022 and January 2023. 

In his plea of mitigation, the first accused Kamal Adwani pleaded for the court to temper justice with mercy. “I am pleading for your forgiveness. I made a mistake, please forgive me,” he lamented.

The prosecutor applied for the proprietor to be compensated, stating that the only material recovered from the accused is the D70,000 and the iPhone 13 worth 40,000 dalasis. He added that the total amount recovered is D100,000, out of the one million stolen. 

Judgment

Magistrate M Faal said that given the fact that the accused person Kamal Adwani is a first-time offender and did not waste the court’s time, the court shall temper justice with mercy and convicted Kamal Adwani to pay a fine of 50, 000 dalasis in default to serve two years imprisonment.

She ordered him to pay a compensation of D890,000 to the proprietor of Alvihag.