Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 February 2020:
The first accused in the corruption trial involving three National Revenue Authority (NRA) officers in Sierra Leone – Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara, is now on the run. A news update tweeted this morning by the ACC boss – Francis Ben Kaifala, says that although Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara has gone into hiding, he will be tried in absentia, under the newly amended Anti-Corruption Laws.
According to the ACC boss, the first accused Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara is in process of building three houses concurrently.
He, along with two other revenue officers at the NRA have been charged with misappropriating a total of Le5.4 Billion in air travel taxes paid to them by travel companies.
According to the ACC, between March 2018 and September 2019, Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara, who is charged with four counts of Misappropriation of Public Revenue, contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008, in his then capacity as Revenue Officer in the RPRP Department of the NRA, misappropriated a total sum of Three Billion, Eighty-Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand, and Five Leones (Le3, 088,878,005) of Public Revenue, in the form of Foreign Travel Taxes paid by the airliner – Royal Air Moroc, and Foreign Travel Taxes paid by Euro World SL Ltd.
The second accused, Mariama Ballah Conteh – who is currently employed as Revenue Officer in the RPRP Department of the NRA, misappropriated a total of One Billion, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Three Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand, Six Hundred Leones (Le1, 723,859,600) of public revenue, in the form of Foreign Travel Taxes paid by Euro World SL Ltd.
Mariama Ballah Conteh faces three counts of Misappropriation of Public Revenue, contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.
The third accused – Jeneba Sesay, also a Revenue Officer currently employed in the RPRP Department of the NRA, is alleged to have misappropriated public revenue amounting to Five Hundred and Seventy Million, Two Hundred and Seven Thousand Leones (Le.570, 207,000.00), on 29th March 2018, in the form of Foreign Travel Tax paid by Euro World SL Ltd.
Jeneba Sesay faces one count of Misappropriation of Public Revenue, contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.
All three accused are indicted for misappropriating a total sum of Five Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty-two Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Five Leones (Le.5, 382,944,605) of collected taxes that should have gone into the public purse.
All three accused are expected to appear at the High Court in Freetown next Monday, 24th February, 2020.