From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, 419ers Hit Again
By Aruna Turay
Oct 20, 2010, 17:08

Sierra Leoneans continue to fall prey of fraudster, commonly known as 419ers, and reports of people being duped are becoming very alarming.

As several citizens are yet to recover from the shock of ‘losing’ huge sums of money to a non-registered financial institution called Wealth Builders Network, the 419 ‘trade’ is seemingly thriving unabated.

Yesterday, Tuesday 19th October 2010, a group of aggrieved Sierra Leoneans stormed the Awareness Times offices, with allegations that an institution called Aid Salone have defrauded them of millions of leones.

According to them, the aforesaid financial institution have collected millions of Leones from them under the pretext of providing them affordable housing facilities and scholarships to study abroad.

One of the victims, who identified himself as Bashiru Kalokoh, explained that Aid Salone has been in existence for the past three months, adding that its headquarters was situated at the ground floor of the Sierra Leone Library Board, OAU Drive, Freetown.

“The organization used to put on display a big banner in the entrance of the Sierra Leone Library Board, advertising its operations,” he said.

According to him, the institution succeeded in registering over six thousand people in Freetown alone.

He furthered that applicants bought the application forms at two hundred thousand leones (Le200,000) each, and paid registration fees of seventy five thousand leones (Le75,000).

Following the registration of thousands of people, the institution unceremoniously discontinued operations by closing the office and disappearing into thin air, Kalokoh disclosed, adding: “All of the contact telephone numbers of the staff are not responding anymore.”

The victims said they were promised to be provided on mortgage with two or three bedroom flats each following the completion of the registration process, for which they were to be paying for the houses on a monthly basis.

The duped Sierra Leoneans used the interview as an opportunity to call on the government and management of the Sierra Leone Library Board to speedily intervene and bring the fraudsters to book..

It could be recalled that some few weeks ago tensions rose from all corners of Sierra Leone with thousands of youths staging peaceful demonstrations over the Wealth Builders 419 scandal.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.