19 August 2014

Liberia: Three Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding LTA of Over $400k

Monrovia — Hussein Dakroub, a former technician working for the GSM Company Novafone and two other defendants are expected to go on trial this week for allegedly defrauding the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) of US$466,201.00 in revenue.

Other defendants charged along with Hussein Dakloub in the grand jury indictment include Joe Touma alias Joseph Phillipe Touma and Chidi to be identified. The trial of the three defendants comes following an indictment by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on charges of theft of property and economic sabotage.

The grand jury claimed that during the month of March 2013 and up to and including November 2013, the three defendants with the intent to defraud the LTA and the government purposely and knowingly engaged themselves in the use of the Sim Box and other equipment to terminate international calls resulting in the loss of revenue to the disadvantage of the government.

Again, the grand jury also claimed that during the same period a total of 1, 665,008.46 minutes calls value at 466,201 were terminated and that the defendants used the Sim Box and other equipment to receive incoming international calls, convert same to a local call, thereby terminating the international character of the call and making it impossible for only the number of a local GSM company which SIM card is being used at the time to appear on the receiver's screen.

According to the grand jury the defendants procured several SIM cards of various local GSM companies operating in Liberia to enhance this criminal process, thereby grossly reducing the amount to be paid to the government and other partners. The indictment, which charged the defendants with theft of property and economic sabotage, further claimed that the act of the defendants is contrary to the 4LCLR Title 26 of the statutory laws of the Republic of Liberia.

"The grand jury in the County of Montserrado, Republic of Liberia, upon their oath do hereby find more probable than not that Hussein Dakloub Joe Touma alias Joseph Philippe Touma and Chidi to be identified, did conspire to and did do and commit the crime of economic sabotage and theft of property a felony of the third degree "the indictment stated.

The trial of the three defendants is expected to kick off this Thursday at the Criminal Court "C" at the Temple of Justice presided over by Judge Yussif Kaba. According to the indictment the defendants had no affirmative defense and that a person is guilty of the first degree felony if he knowingly conspires or colludes to defraud the Government of Liberia or knowingly makes an opportunity for any person to defraud the Government or another.


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