By Jane B. Mansaray.
As Millions of Leones got allegedly embezzled at Mercury International Company Limited Sierra Leone, the Deputy Chief Finance Officer at the said company office in Freetown, Madam Marfelia Chen, a foreign national, yesterday appeared before Principal Magistrate Albert Moody of Court No.1 to testify in a Preliminary Investigation matter involving an accused, Jacklyn Kroma, a cashier employed by the above named company.
Led in evidence by Police Superintendent Samuel Kamara, the first prosecution witness told the court that she knows the accused as a colleague since 2008.
The witness said she recalled in June 2017, whilst at the Kroo Town Road Mercury office in Freetown the accused came to her office with a voucher booklet dated 9th June 2017 showing payment of winnings on a daily basis.
As a normal procedure, the witness said before signing such a document, she would have to compare the document to that of the information technology (IT) department details for any difference.
In this case, the witness said she refused to sign the voucher booklet document brought by the accused person based on discrepancies and referred it back to the accused for proper checking.
Two days later, Madam Marfelia Chen said the accused came back with the same document but changed it to the report tallying the (IT) information.
The Head of the payment of winnings who was on leave at that time was instructed to prepare a voucher report.
After preparing the report, by the head of winning payment department, some discrepancies were detected in the voucher booklet.
The prosecution witness furthered that she then instructed the payment head to write a summary report of his findings.
At the conclusion of the summary report, it was forwarded to the Operations Manager, Mr. Joseph Harb who immediately invited the accused to the office for questioning.
Whilst the investigation was on going, the accused was sent home on instruction of keeping in touch with the office.
The summary report was later shown to the Managing Director, Mr. Martin Michael and the matter was reported at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters in Freetown.
The accused person is answering to eight related offences of embezzlement contrary to Section 17 Sub Section 6 of the Larceny Act 1916.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused on diverse dates between 2016 to 2017 being an employee at Mercury International allegedly fraudulently embezzled fifty five million eight hundred and ninety three thousand five hundred and seventy seven Leone (Le 55,893,577) and various sums of money meant for the payment of mercury winnings.
Lawyer D.I.L. Cummings-John is associating with the prosecution, and Lawyer E.T. Koroma is defending the accused person. Bail continues.
The matter was later adjourned,