From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
APC Releases Woman Caught with €230,000 in Sierra Leone: A mockery of the Anti Money Laundering Act
Aug 14, 2008, 17:40

The APC regime of President Ernest Bai Koroma has once again shown its scant regard for laid down laws of the land. Intensive investigations conducted by Awareness Times newspaper indicates that a well known Sierra Leonean lady (name withheld) with strong connections to highly placed persons in both the Ernest Bai Koroma regime in Sierra Leone and the Lansana Conte regime in neighbouring Guinea was yesterday August 13th 2008, intercepted with the huge sum of €230,000 (Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand Euros) and a large cache of gold in her possession which she was attempting to smuggle from out of Sierra Leone into Guinea via the Kambia district border.

The Anti Money Laundering Act makes it an offence for such a large amount of money to be taken across the border in the form of undeclared physical cash. €230,000 is approximately one billion leones in cash.

The Sierra Leonean lady, in her mid-thirties, is the niece to another very well known top female associate (name withheld) of this regime and upon being arrested at the Kambia border by a crack team of Customs and Police Officers, she called both her mother and her aunt via her mobile. Awareness Times has learnt that this aunt and the lady’s mother then proceeded to make frantic phone calls to State House and Police Headquarters which calls proved fruitful and resulted in the release of their daughter/niece alongside the intercepted €230,000 and all the seized gold late yesterday evening. The cash and gold have since made it safely into Conakry, Guinea.

Further investigations by Awareness Times indicate that this is not the first time the lady was intercepted by security forces. Sources close to this family inform that she arrived by road into Sierra Leone on 13th July 2008, the same day that the plane full of cocaine landed into Sierra Leone. The entire security forces were on top alert on that day and this led to her being intercepted that 13th July 2008 at a checkpoint in Port Loko District in a Jeep. The suspicious security personnel who had not been satisfied with her answers as to her mission in Sierra Leone were however instructed by a certain Assistant Inspector General of Police (name withheld) to immediately release her as she was a guest of top State functionaries of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC).

She was then released and has spent the past few weeks in Sierra Leone but from our understanding, without a very clear mission. It was on her return back to Guinea yesterday that she was intercepted and searched and the search this time resulted in the huge sum of fresh euro bills and gold being retrieved from her Jeep. She had no license to export gold and she could not put up any plausible explanation for the large sum of money in her possession

"The order to release this woman who has clearly broken the anti-money-laundering laws of this country came from above and it makes mockery of the laws of the land," a police officer in Kambia told this medium.

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