A Guinea Bissau national who was arrested near a town bordering Nimba County and La Côte d’ Ivoire, after allegedly stealing more than US$138,000 from a businessman, Mohammed Bah on Monday, December 2, appeared before Monrovia City Court charged with theft.
Charaf Khaled, 33, is the chief executive officer (CEO) of DIMEX Distribution –Import and Export located on Broad Street, in Monrovia.
He was arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP) on November 26, while enroute to Côte d’ Ivoire, based on a tipoff by residents in the area.
The exact village in Nimba County, where he was arrested was not disclosed.
It is not clear whether Khaled was on Monday sent to the Monrovia Central Prison or not, as the crime is bailable under the new penal law.
He, however, spent the entire day sitting with others accused individuals on the bench in the courtroom.
But, police claim that Khaled was picked-up in Nimba County where US$92,185 was retrieved from him.
According to police, while undergoing a preliminary investigation, suspect Khaled chose not to make any statement without his legal counsel on hand.
It was based on witnesses’ statements, and clues gathered from the crime scene, as well as a background check that that led the police to charge the suspect Khaled with theft of property.
Police said that the act is in violation of Chapter 15, Sub-Chapter ‘D’ Section 15.51 of the new penal code.
In his complaint Mohammed Bah alleged that on the fateful morning of November 21, suspect Khaled drove to his foreign exchange bureau on Ashmun Street.
When Khaled got down from the car he told him (Bah) that he wanted to change some Liberian dollars to United States dollars.
But, he wanted the transaction to be done at his (Khaled) company, DIMEX Distribution-Import and Export head office on Broad Street.
Bah claimed that Khaled informed him that he wanted US$138,500 at a buying rate of one United States Dollars (US$1) to eighty -three (83) Liberian dollars.
Based on that request, Bah said he decided to contact some of his friends, because he did not have that amount of United States Dollars,
Between them, they raised the US$138,500.
According to Bah, after collecting the money, he and two of his friends went along with Khaled to his office, where the money was presented to him in the presence of some members of his (Khaled’s) staff.
After receiving the money, Bah claimed Khaled put it in something that looked like a safe he had installed between his office and that of one of his staff.
When he put the money in the safe he left and entered another office, Bah allege
Bah further explained that when Khaled entered the office, they taught he was going for the United States Dollars equivalent in Liberian dollars, so as to conclude the business transaction.
Unfortunately, Khaled used the office he had entered and escape from his office, leaving them waiting for over an hour without any sign of his whereabouts.
It was after waiting, Bah claimed, that they decided to contact the police.
According to him, they and the officers searched the entire building and could not find any trace of Khaled.