Ishmail Sillah, a worker at the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA) was allegedly accused of stealing monies from the SLRSA welfare account and transferring it to his personal account.

Moseray, the Administrative Head of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank’s Kissy Road Branch, delivered important testimony in a case implicating the alleged theft of 1 billion Old Leones. The proceedings were supervised by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Dahlia Wellington.

Moseray, accountable for supervising deposits at the bank, recollected the time between December 1, 2022, and January 17, 2023, when he glimpsed an unusual credit of 1 billion Old Leones deposited into Ishmail Sillah’s account during his regular morning check.

Moseray described that the individual who brought in the deposit was specified as the second accused, Muctarr Balegu. Upon inquiry, Balegu informed Moseray that an outsider without a bank account had ordered him to stimulate the deposit.

Moseray began an investigation after finding that Balegu tried to manipulate the funds by wiping off and transferring the amount to a different account. He revealed that the 1 billion Old Leones had been withdrawn from the Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority’s (SLRSA) welfare account.

In a substantial disclosure, Moseray accentuated that Ishmail Sillah issued ten countercheques to Balegu, a procedure inconsistent with bank protocol. He explained that a designated staff member was responsible for such transactions.

Despite objections from lawyer Daniel Lavali, who represented the accused, the evidence was admitted in court. Magistrate Ngegba ruled against Lavali’s objection due to the absence of applicable legal precedent.

Moseray continued, narrating how Balegu used the counter cheques to debit SLRSA staff accounts a total of ten times, amounting to one hundred million Old Leones. He outlined that Kamara, another individual implicated, authorized a transaction worth nine hundred million Leones, which was eventually transferred to Ishmail Sillah’s account via a complex process involving specie movement and virtual transfers.

Further details emerged as Moseray described Sillah’s subsequent withdrawal of 100 million Leones from the Cline Town Branch on December 28, 2022. Kamara executed a virtual transaction to balance Sillah’s account at the Waterloo Branch.

To remedy the missing 1 billion Leones and restore customer trust, Moseray stated that the bank reimbursed the SLRSA welfare account from which the funds were allegedly taken.

ASP Wellington requested a date for the prosecution to present original documents related to the accused individuals’ transactions.

Despite Lavali’s renewed application for bail, Magistrate Mark Ngegba denied bail for both accused parties, ordering their return to custody at the Male Correctional Center in Freetown.

The case has been adjourned until Friday, September 1, 2023, as the legal proceedings continue to unfold