5 February 2018

Sierra Leone: Cyber Expert Testifies in U.S. Envoy's Phone Theft Matter

A cyber expert attached at the Cyber Syndicate Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, Detective Sargent Hassan Tholley, has testified before Magistrate Santigie Bangura in a matter involving Adekalie Kargbo and Santigie Sankoh. The duo is alleged to have stolen the phone of the United States Envoy to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Maria Brewer.

According to the particulars of offence, on Thursday, 7th December 2017 at the official dissolution of Parliament, the two accused persons allegedly stole an IPhone 6 valued (US$850) equivalent to (Le6, 375,000) belonging to the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone.

On 18 January, Adekalie Kargbo and Santigie Sankoh were arrested and charged with the offence of larceny and receiving stolen goods, contrary to the Larceny Act of 1916.

The expert explained that some of his duties as cyber expert include to receive call history, Identification Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of stolen phone from investigators, officers and complainant and send call request to various mobile companies via their email address.

Detective Sergeant Tholley recalled that on the 8th December, 2017 a case of stolen mobile phone was reported and an IMEI number353298075332455 was sent to him to trace the missing phone.

According to him, he sent the IMEI number to both Africell and Orange mobile who later replied that the missing phone was registered with their company.

He told the court that with the help of software called true-caller, he was able to trace one Abubakar Fadika, a resident of Kenema, as user of the stolen mobile phone.

The witness told the magistrate that a team of investigators went to Kenema to conduct an investigation on the stolen phone and arrested the said Abubakar Fadika, who produced the alleged stolen phone and told detectives that he had bought it.

Sergeant Tholley further said he identified the phone and later handed it over to investigators for further investigation.

The first accused person is represented by Lawyers J. Cole and A.B. Kamara, while the second accused is represented by Lawyers J.M. Jengo and M. Charles.

Defence Lawyers applied for both accused persons to be granted bail, stating that their clients have reliable Sierra Leoneans that were ready to stand in the recognisance.

But police prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Hawa Bah, raise an objected, stating that the accused persons were flight risk and they would interfere with prosecution witnesses.

The accused persons were denied bail and sent on remand until the return date of Friday, 9th February.

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