The trial of three senior staff of Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) accused of stealing US$126,219 from the account of one of its customers, Total-Liberia yesterday took a dramatic turn, which forced Judge Emery Paye of Criminal Court ‘C’ to deny defense lawyers’ request to have the defendants freed from the Monrovia Central Prion, where they have been detained since 2015, in the absence of bond.
Under the criminal procedure law, a bail is processed when an accused pays a set amount of money equivalent to double the money allegedly stolen to be released from police custody to await trial. However, rape, murder and armed robbery cases are exception to that law.
Before denying the defense’s request, the prosecution produced two witnesses, one of which was Madam Olushola Alioha, who heads the banking operation of the bank. She testified that the alleged crime was discovered when she received an email from an account officer from Total-Liberia.
Testifying on Monday, Alioha alleged that to authenticate Total-Liberia’s allegation the unnamed account officer attached some deposit slips that were not posted into the company’s account.
According to the witness, when she received the email and its attachment, she immediately forwarded them to co-defendant Stanley Yorsee for verification, which he did and subsequently informed her that the Total allegation was true.
During that email exchange, Madam Alioha claimed that she was out of the bank attending to a meeting and asked Yorsee in her email to check the deposit log to know which teller was directly responsible to post to Total-Liberia’s account that did not appear in their customer account.
It was then that she alleged Yorsee informed her that it was defendant Montmorency Yancy.
She said when she returned to the bank about 4:00pm, she asked Yorsee to give her the deposit log book, unfortunately, Alioha alleged that Yorsee informed her that the log book had disappeared.
“And I asked the security officers assigned at the bank to immediately lock the bank and I made an announcement that nobody was allowed to leave the banking hall,” she alleged.
She said together with Yorsee and the other employees they searched for the missing deposit log book. “We checked everywhere including the bank’s vault where we kept their cash, but we did not get the book,” she said.
According to her, during that time the bank decided to investigate the defendants, and it was then that co-defendant Emmanuel Togba confessed that it was Yancy who asked him to take the deposit log book away, which she claimed Togba admitted to.
After the confession, Alioha claimed she contacted the Liberia National Police and the two men were arrested.
The case started when GT-Bank alleged that from May to June 2015, the defendants, while serving in their respective posts conspired and stole US$126,219 that was intended to be deposited into Total-Liberia’s account.
The bank further alleged that the defendants collected the money from several Total-Liberia gas stations.
The court document alleged that co-defendant Yorsee who was head of operations had a mandate to ensure that he signed all deposit log books.
He was also responsible to ensure that cash collected from customers at the end of the working days were posted to customers’ respective accounts, which they confessed they did not do in the case of Total-Liberia.