By Yankuba Jallow
Lamin Touray, the depot supervisor at the Gam Petroleum Storage Facility (GP) on Monday, 16 May 2022 testified in the ongoing economic crime case involving their former general manager and operation manager.
Saihou Drammeh, a former general manager of GP and Lamin Gassama, a former operations manager GP are both facing 8 criminal counts for their alleged involvement in causing monetary losses to the company amounting to millions of dollars.
They are facing 8 criminal charges of “economic crimes”, “stealing by clerk or servant”, and “directors and officers of corporation or companies fraudulently appropriating property or keeping fraudulent accounts.” They both denied liability after the charges were read to them to take their plea.
Lamin Touray, the second prosecution witness said Gam Petroleum (GP) used to be the only storage facility in the Gambia having business relationship with both international traders like Addax Energy and Trafigura as well as the local oil marketing companies like Jah Oil, GNPC, Petro Gas, Atlas and NP Gambia among others.
The resident of Brikama said GP had storage agreement with the international traders adding GP is responsible of discharging vessels carrying tankers of products like gasoline, gas oil, jet fuel or kerosene, fuel oil or HO4 and liquefied petroleum gas.
In explaining the process of receiving products from the international traders, witness Touray said the traders notify GP that a vessel is coming and the quantity of the products is communicated to the operations manager – the 2nd accused person (Lamin Gassama). He said after this, a ship and shore checklist is prepared. He gave a detailed explanation as to the process of offloading the vessel until how the products get to the GP storage facility. He testified that before the products get to the facility it is usually confirmed by GP in a process that involves the Cargo Surveyor, Loading Master and a team. He said the out turn quantity they record from the vessel will be sent to the 2nd accused person (Lamin Gassama) for confirmation.
Four out turn documents were tendered in court by the prosecution and marked as exhibits following non-objection from the team of defence lawyers. The documents were out turns of Trafigura and Addax Energy between August and October 2021.
The witness said after the quantity is confirmed, an email will be sent to the international traders confirming the vessel has been discharged and the quantity received.
He said the traders would now start releasing the products to the OMCs who purchased from them. He added that the release order from the traders will be sent to both the 1st and 2nd accused persons. He testified that after releasing the quantities, GP prepared what they refer to as Intern-Transfer and were signed by the 2nd Accused Person. He said this will be sent back to the local OMCs and the international traders. He explained that the traders will now know that the quantity that they released has been deducted from their accounts and the OMC will also know that they have released products in their names. He said the information is forwarded to the control room to monitor the uplift each MOC based on the release in their name. He added that the OMCs will send delivery notes to the control room and the control room will in turn issue them tickets to load.
By Yankuba Jallow