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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

ACC Traps 3 NRA Officials in Le5Bn Scam

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Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has last week, charged a second group of public officials to court for corruption, signifying the Commission’s resolve and determination to successfully investigate and prosecute those illegally making a living out of public funds.

The ACC said, it filed an indictment against former Revenue Officer, Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara; and Mariama Ballah Conteh and Jeneba Sesay, Revenue Officers in the Report Processing and Return Payment (RPRP) Department of the National Revenue Authority (NRA), on eight counts of Misappropriation of Public Revenue, contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.

According to the ACC, between March 2018 and September 2019, Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara, 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.

Abubakarr Sidikie Kamara faces four counts of Misappropriation of Public Revenue, contrary to Section 36(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.

The ACC also said that, between March and May 2018, 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 other 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.  They are expected to appear at the High Court in Freetown on 24th February, 2020.

The ACC’s statement says that it “wishes to reassure the general public of its unshaken resolve to fight acts of corruption at all levels in Sierra Leone, especially in revenue generating institutions, given the fact that they are the lifeblood of States, therefore crucial to State survival.”

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