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City of Banjul
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Algerian denies causing economic loss to Gambia

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

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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


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