Veronic Carayol Continues Defence


By Mamadou Dem Continuing with her defence before Magistrate Fatou Darboe of the BanjulVeronic Carayol Magistrates’ Court, Ms Carayol added that the evidence of Mr.Omar Bangura (PW6) shows that there were some imports taken out of the ports since 2010 which are yet to be paid for.“How did Direct Delivery System Work?,” quizzed her attorney HawaSisay Sabally. According to the accused, during this process, the importer applies to the Commissioner General at GRA to have his/her goods or items delivered without payments of duties or taxes for a brief period of 23 days which she said is permitted by law. She said the importer will give reasons for making such applications but it is the discretion of the commissioner general to approve or disapprove the application and then minute it to the commissioner of customs and finally to the Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement for disposal of the goods where they are located, i.e., Sea Port or Airport. Thereafter she said the importer and the GRA enter a bond for the payment of duties for goods or items Imported. Ms.Carayol further informed the court that one custom entry can have ten containers and at the same time a single entry can have one container depending on the bill of laden. She added manifest is a document used in carrying goods either by land, sea or air which contains the importer or exporter and principal address of the consignment for export, weight quantity and description of goods carried. Responding to another question from her attorney, Dw1 intimated that the manifest wasn’t close because goods were cleared without any custom declaration to serve as a supporting document to enable them close the manifest by quoting the receipt number, the registration number and date of payment. When asked by her lawyer whether the manifest is in both hard and soft copies, the witness replied in the affirmative. “Who prepares the manifest at GRA?” Mrs.Saballyenquired? The witness replied that the Shipping Agent sends it to the GRA Management who in turn downloads it in their system; adding that regarding the payment of  a particular vehicle (Peugeot 406), she said she checked in the system and found the following “OusmanSanneh care of NumoSanneh.” She said she discovered in the system that Numo Sanneh was the importer in Banjul. “I called him and asked him for the receipt number for the payment of the vehicle but he said he had paid. I told him no, but he asked me to give him time to come with the receipts. He came to my office accompanied by Omar Bangura (Pw6) and they gave me a receipt which I checked in the system and found out that it was a forged receipt, not an authentic one,” said the witness. At that juncture, Police Prosecutor Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Musa Camara quickly interjected and argued that the witness cannot determine a forged receipt; adding that the evidence given by the witness amount to hearsay evidence which he said was inadmissible by the court. He therefore referred the court to Sections 19 and 21 of the Evidence Act. Reacting to prosecutions objection, HawaSisay-Sabally submitted that hearsay evidence is indeed admissible on the issue of forgery. She said the witness said she checked in their system and discovered that it was a forged one. The objection was overruled; consequently the matter was adjourned till 2nd and 7th of next month, 2015.]]>