Indian Businessman Charged with US$30,000 Theft

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Police in Monrovia have investigated and forwarded to court, an Indian national accused of stealing several cartons of brake fluid valued at US$30,000.

Defendant Darnesh Byramji was also accused of stealing 15 cartons of engine oil at the price of US$250.00 each.

He allegedly stole the items from an Indian-run business center, Naresh Brothers, situated in Vai Town, Monrovia.

For the past four years Byramji had served as warehouse manager of that business’ Randall Street branch.

Byramji is charged with the commission of the crime “theft of property,” based upon a complaint filed against him by another Indian national identified as Bunty Anandani.

Anandani is the general manager of Naresh Brothers.

At his trial yesterday, defendant Byramji, dressed in a blue short sleeve t-shirt and blue long trousers, with a blue pair of slippers sat all day on the prisoner’s bench.

He was yesterday allowed to walk freely out of the courtroom.  Apparently his legal team may have filed a bond on his behalf.

The crime is a baliable offense under Liberian laws.

The bond was very important because it prevented him from being remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison yesterday.

It is not clear whether Byramji’s bond was paid in cash or an insurance because it was not disclosed, as had been done in previous cases.

Usually, the bond fees either double or triple the amount which the individual is accused of stealing.

In most instances, it is the Judge or Magistrate hearing the case who determines the bond fees.

In his complaint, Anandani alleged that on November 9, they (management) of the business entity decided to conduct an inventory of their warehouse around the National Port Authority (Freeport) community.

It was during that process, the Naresh Brothers general manager further alleged, that they discovered several empty bottles of brake fluid in the area.

He said they also discovered 15 barrels of empty engine oil.

According to him, the inventory was carried out in the presence of defendant Byramji.

“We immediately questioned defendant Byramji about the discoveries,” the Naresh Brothers manager stated.

While interrogating the defendant about the discoveries, Anandani claimed that defendant Byramji asked them to allow him to use the rest room.

“After using the rest room Byramji escaped the scene and switched off his phone,” Anandani further narrated.

He also claimed that the defendant later left the apartment where he had been residing for an unknown location.

According to Anandani, defendant Byramji and he lived in the same apartment.

Explaining about the defendant’s incarceration and subsequent charge, Anandani said, “After he went missing for three weeks, we came across him on the street, then we quickly contacted the police who arrested him.”

According to police, during preliminary investigation, defendant Byramji admitted to the allegation levied against him.

Police further said that based upon his voluntary admission and eye witness account, including evidence gathered from the warehouse, they agreed to charge defendant Byramji with the crime of theft of property.

In their investigation, Police said, defendant Byramji told them that he usually gave out goods from the ware house when his boss issued him delivery notes for him to supply customers.

He was also quoted as saying that “three months ago I was at the warehouse when one of our customers, Rufus Pewee, came to me that he wanted to buy engine oil.”

“Pewee and I used to transact on a daily basis and along with my driver, Andrew Dennis.”

“I sold several cartons of brake fluid to Pewee at the price of US$290 each and 15 cartons of engine oil at the price of US$250 each to him,” the defendant allegedly admitted.

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