Algerian denies causing economic loss to Gambia


Tahar Haouari yesterday pleaded not guilty of economic crime, conspiracy to commit felony and stealing at the High Court in Banjul.

Denying the allegations, Mr Tahar burst into tears in a packed courtroom. “The only mistake I have committed is that the machine was found in my hotel. I have been in custody for more than one month and I want to see my children,” he plaintively pleaded.

According to the indictments, Mr Haouri caused economic loss to Gamtel to the amonut of D611,340.03 by installing a giant simbox which he used to divert international calls from Gamtel international gateway, an act detrimental to the economy of The Gambia.


The accused, charged with two o for thers (who are at large) is also accused of obtaining the sum of D115,677 from QCell Company Limited by installing a simbox.

Meanwhile, the director of public prosecution, SH Barkun said the state will not object to a bail for the arraigned Algerian. His lawyer, Kebba Sanyang, is expected to apply for Mr Haouari to be released on bail when the case resumes on June 16.

In a separate development, another man accused of a similar offence was sentenced by a high court judge after pleading guilty at the High Court in Banjul.

Momodou Lamin Jeng was sentenced to four years in prison with hard labour if he fails to pay a fine of 30,000.  His sentence came after he admitted a charge of conspiracy to commit felony. The prosecutor accused him of conspiring with Abdirahman Osman and Muhammed Abdullahi (now at large) to cause economic loss to Gamtel by installing a giant simbox in order to divert international calls from Gamtel international gateway. 


By Binta Bah