Sierra Leone: Greek Investor Suffers Multiple Scams in Salone

We came to Sierra Leone a year ago. We had a good intention to come and invest here based on the promise of the new government to encouraging investment. But we started falling prey to things that were not supposed to happen. One thing is that the laws and the system exist. The problem always has been the implementation of the laws. We report issues to the police, with warrant prepared but everything stops there. No one actually cares to go beyond that and everything has been frustrating, expressed Nicolas Nicolaides, a Greek businessman.

Nicolas yesterday narrated to the press how they have allegedly been duped multiple times by people very close to the powers that be; with the police refusing to pursue their matter to the letter.

"There are people who used their positions within a system called government to dupe people," he said.

Nicolas cited one Saccoh Mati Aldji, whom he said had identified himself as Special Envoy for Investment and Trade for President Julius Maada Bio.

He said Saccoh had approached him and his business partner for a loan, which they provided in the sum of $15000 (Fifteen thousand US Dollars) but has refused to pay the said loan and instead boasting of his connection to the presidency.

"Despite efforts, through mutual friends, Mr.Saccoh was neither responding nor showing any willingness to pay, but rather opted for advising us on the merits of showing an understanding for his delays. As is always the case, one seeks of resolving issues through the intervention of the law and the police. An arrest warrant was issued but was never exercised and subsequent promises that they will contact him and resolve the issue amicably have proven to be fake," a letter written by Nicolas reads.

"To this day, the debt has reached $20000 (twenty thousand US Dollars) and noting has been done to resolve his debt. The police refuse to take actions and when finally contact is made, at sporadic moments, he stresses his position and that court case would not be a viable solution."

Nicolas also narrated how the police allegedly aided the escape of a Lebanese businessman, Adams Adnan, who had swindled the sum of $121000(one hundred and twenty-one thousand US Dollars) from them.

He said Adnan had approached them and presented a business opportunity he had in providing trucks to Chinese Company, adding the former had requested that they partner since the transaction amount exceeded his capacity and wanted to establish a relationship with the Chinese Company for future potentials.

"After conducting what little diligence we could, and taking collateral in the form of bank cheques, we proceeded to make payment for the trucks in Europe of a total of $121000 (One hundred and twenty-one thousand US Dollars) with the commitment on receiving part of the profits which would amount to $17000 (Seventeen Thousand US Dollars).Towards the end of August having no tangible proof of the transaction, although we continually pressed for documentation, we proceeded to confront Mr.Adnan .From his replies and behaviour,we felt that we didn't have the proper and truth feedback, so we decided to proceed with the legal means available to us," he said.

He said Mr. Adnan was arrested and that during the process of getting him arrested, "We were threatened and later asked to pay a gratuity of $1000 to an employee in the Vice President's Office, named T-Boy in order to have him arrested. But he was left to go on bail at the guarantee of two people, one of which is an employee of the Office of the President.

"To this end,Mr.Adnan is a fugitive as he has informed us that he has fled the country, despite his passport being withheld by the police. Attempts to locate him or bring the guarantors to face their commitments and responsibilities have fallen short as the police seem to be falling short of the task, even though the gratuities to fuel their effort have not," he said.

The aggrieved Greek businessman claimed that Daniel Moiba aka T-Boy,to whom the $1000 was paid to facilitate the arrest of Adnan,had identified himself as an employee at the President's Lodge, attached to the Intelligence Gathering Unit.

He claimed that the said T-Boy also duped them and refused to pay for a 2013 Range Rover Autobiography he had initially done part payment for.

"In November, as part of the settlement with Mr.Adnan,we received a 2013 Range Rover Autobiography, which we proceeded to sell. One of our associates came with a proposal from a buyer for an amount ,which although cheaper than the market price was found as satisfactory if the money will be paid immediately. We proceeded to sign an agreement which as part of the transaction was to take another car as trade in and $15000 (Fifteen thousand US Dollars).We received the traded car and $9000 (Nine thousand US Dollars),leaving as per agreement the balance to be paid in one week," he narrated.

"When the one passed and we made contact for the balance money to be paid, we realised that the buyer was Mr.Moiba .He refused to pay the money and using abusive language and informed us that he will pay at a time of his choosing. He we tried to take this matter to the police, they refuse to recognise Mr.Moiba as someone they knew, although during the arrest of Mr.Adnan as mentioned earlier, they were fully aware of him and his identity."

Nicolas has called on the authorities to give him justice by helping him, through the legal means, to retrieve his money.

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