The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) recently rounded up four people suspected of involvement in the dealing of fake euros note, which they reportedly inject into the market.
The suspects- Bana Kanyi, Nuha Trawally, Ebrima Cham and Abdoulie Mbowe- were on Wednesday arraigned before Principal Magistrate B.Y. Camara of the Banjul Magistrates Court and charged with purchasing counterfeit euro notes and conspiracy to defraud.
According to the facts of the case as narrated by Cadet Inspector Keita, the prosecutor, it was sometime in the month of December 2007 when the offices of the NIA acted on a tip-off that a quantity of fake euro notes was being circulated by Gambians and non-Gambians. He said upon receiving the information, a team of officers were deployed to track down the people behind the scam, adding that during the course of the operation three of the accused persons were arrested and taken to the NIA for questioning.
Officer Keita further stated that during the subsequent investigation it came to light that the three suspects were not the only perpetrators of the act, which started days before the Tobaski.
He said Buba Kanyi and Ebrima Trawally informed the investigators that they got the fake notes from Abdoulie Mbowe who owned up to his involvement but disclosed that he too got it from Ebrima Cham. He said Ebrima Cham also claimed to have got it from a Senegalese national who is still at large.
He said the investigators further revealed that the suspects continued to convert the euros to dalasis and each instance of success fuelled their ambition to circulate more.
He said the 1st accused, Baba Kanyi, was enticed into the racket by the 2nd accused, Nuha Trawally. He added that as the investigation continued, a total of 7,500 fake euros and D196,780 was recovered from the accused persons. He said the accused persons, together with the fake currency and the amount recovered from the accused persons in dalasis were handed over to the fraud and commercial unit of the Gambia Police Force by the NIA.
The fake notes were later sent to the Central Bank for verification, where they were confirmed fake before a certificate was issued to that effect.
Following their plea of guilt to the offence, the accused were each sentenced to a fine of D6500 each in default to serve three years imprisonment each with hard labour.