By Binta A Bah
The Banjul Magistrate Court has convicted a former transport manager at the Judiciary department Bakary Sarr for defrauding people of almost D1.5M by making them believed that he was selling a plot of land to them on behalf of the Sheriff Division. Sarr is already serving a two-year term in prison for a different case.
In this fresh case,Sarr was found guilty on all the three charges of obtaining money by false pretense by Principal Magistrate Muhammed Krubally who ordered him to pay each of the victims the money he had received from them or risk going to jail for six years. He also ordered Sarr to pay D15,000 on the three charges in default to serve another 18 months in prison. Since the sentences will run consecutively, he will spend 7 years and 6 months imprisonment if he did not pay all the fines.
The prosecution led by Commissioner A. Sanneh, alleged that Sarr in 2019, under false pretense received D500,000 from Muhammadu Samusa, another D500,000 from Abou Sumareh and D450,000 from Muhammed Sumareh totalling D1,450,000 pretending that he was selling them plots of land at Sukuta on behalf of the Sheriff Division, which he knew to be false.
Four witnesses, three of whom victims, testified in the trial. Sarr however, in his defence admitted receiving only D750,000 from the victims.
Passing his sentencing, the magistrate said it is an established evidence that the victims suffered economic loss and the convict should compensate them the amount that was paid to him. He said it is vividly clear that Sarr has ‘voluntarily’ and ‘judicially’ admitted in his defence that he had only received D750,000 not the amount alleged by prosecutors.
“I order that the accused compensates these three persons their monies as stated herein in default to serve two years for Muhammadou Samusa’s case, two years for Abou Sumareh’s case and two years for Muhammed Sumareh’s case,” he said.
The convict pleaded with the court for mercy, saying he’s currently serving a two-year jail term at the state central prison.