Testifying in the million multi-dalasi gold trial involving Amadou Jago Sowe and three others at the High Court in Banjul yesterday, the geologist said since the act came into force, no licence has been issued by his department to goldsmiths in the country.
He made this disclosure when defence lawyer Sheriff Tambadou pointed out to him that there are more than 200 goldsmiths in the Greater Banjul Area alone. In response to Mr Tambadou’s question whether gold is found or mined in the country, Mr Jawo stated: “Geological investigations have found traces of gold but according to the Mines and Quarries Act of 2005, there is no gold mining in The Gambia. I personally do not know about any goldsmith and I do not know about any goldsmith within the Greater Banjul Area. I only heard names but I have never seen or visited anyone who is a goldsmith. Dealing in gold without a license is illegal in accordance with the Mines and Quarries Act of 2005. We were informed by the Ministry of Justice about this case through a letter about the involvement of people who deal in gold. That is all I know about this case. ”
During Cross-examination before Justice Emmanuel Amadi, Mr Jawo told Tambadou that he did not know Alieu Secka, the first prosecution witness but said he was certain that he did not have a licence as a sole individual has been granted license to deal in gold in The Gambia. However, he admitted that his department does not issue licence to goldsmiths.
Amadou Jago Sowe, Omar Sanneh, Samba Leigh and Modou Jallow are currently standing trial at the high court in Banjul on three counts of obtaining goods by false pretense, cheating and conspiracy to commit misdeamenour. The particulars of offence indicate that through false pretence and with intent to defraud, the four men obtained the sum of US$92,750 from Alieu Badara Secka on the promise of providing him with 30 kilos of gold dust which they never did. They denied all charges. The case will resume on July 31.
By Lamin Njie]]>