By Amadou Jadama
Momodou Bobo Barry, a foreign currency exchange dealer and a victim in this case, Tuesday told the court how three Liberians duped him D638,000 in exchange for $9,100 notes that were found to be fake.
According to the witness, Jonathan Papafloma and Wilfred Sayee used a well thought-out deception on him by initially presenting real dollar bills which he tested and confirmed to be real for exchange at a rate he told them he could not buy.
”But after telling them the rate I can offer, they pretended to be talking to their boss on the phone who repeatedly bargained for me to exchange the dollars at their preferred rate which I found to be too high. I insisted I cannot exchange it at that rate and they decided to go. However, a few minutes later they came back to say they have now agreed to my rate and passed me the dollar bills. Little did I know that they have now replaced the real bills with fake ones. So, I gave them D638,000 being the equivalent of $9,100 at that time,” the witness told the Banjul Magistrates’ Court presided over by Magistrate Krubally.
He said not long after, a customer came to buy dollars and he used some of the bills given to him by the accused persons to give to the new customer who came back to say that the bills are found to be fake. “We tested the bills and confirmed them to be fake and that’s when I reported the matter to the police,” the witness said.
He further disclosed that some weeks later, he got a call from the police to say that two people were arrested in Jarra Soma suspected of operating in similar fashion and when the police shared their photos, he instantly recognised them to be the two who pulled fast on him. He said the men were then brought to Serekunda when he positively identified them.
The trial continues.