‘L$470K Was Mistakenly Transferred to Defendant’s Mobile Money Account’

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Madam Samelia Tweh, the customer service manager at Lone Start Cell Communication, MTN yesterday told Criminal Court ‘C’ that over L$470,000 was mistakenly transferred to the mobile money account of defendant Suzette Binda Blake.

Defendant Blake was then responsible for the GSM company electronic mobile money transaction, which she allegedly withdrew without authorization from the management.

As prosecution’s second witness, Madam Tweh said the money was erroneously transferred to Blake’s mobile money account by the financial controller assigned at the entity’s Broad Street Service Center. The witness did not mention the name of the controller.

Besides, she did not explain the number of erroneous deposits made into Blake’s mobile money account by her financial controller that reached the L$470,000 amount at the center of Blake’s trial.

She however claimed that the act was discovered during their normal reconciliation process and, when they conducted an internal investigation into the disappearance of the money.

“Huge deposit was made to the defendant’s mobile money account where she immediately withdrew those monies without being authorized to do so,” the witness alleged.

She said when Blake noticed the erroneous transaction, she immediately withdrew the money from her account at Ecobank.

She did not say how long it took the entity’s management to discover the mistaken transfer made into the defendant’s account by the financial controller, although the controller is yet to face prosecution.

Concerning the role of the controller and the defendant, Madam Tweh said, Blake was also responsible to make a daily report to the financial controller after she had collected cash through the mobile money transactions from the company field agents.

Tweh claimed that the controller also issued receipt to Blake as confirmation that he had collected money from the defendant and the controller, which she later deposited into the company’s account at Ecobank and other banking institutions in the country.

Tweh, in her testimony, however, claimed that “The management through my office observed that the defendant could not properly account for money that was entrusted into her care when she took away cash that was given to her by our agents.”

The case emerged when Lone Star Cell Communication and MTN alleged that from 2014 to 2015, Blake, who served as regional sales supervisor was directly responsible to businesses like supply stores, gas stations, pharmacies with mobile phones, scratch cards and sim cards.

They further alleged that they entrusted her with electronic mobile money valued at L$449,515 and US$66,000 to sell, supply and report or deposit the proceeds into the company’s account at Ecobank, and other banking institutions in the country.

To their disbelief, the GSM operator claimed, defendant Blake received the money from the sales and converted it to her personal use thereby depriving the entity of its legitimate revenue.

They claim, Blake had denied when the indictment was first read to her in court and refused to be tried by a jury.

The case continues with defense lawyers waiting to cross examine witness Tweh.

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