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ACC INDICTS DR. SARAH FINDA BENDU AND TWO OTHERS

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ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION
CATHEDRAL HOUSE
3 GLOUCESTER STREET
FREETOWN
SIERRA LEONE, WEST AFRICA

Ref: ACC/PR/19/016

12th September, 2019

PRESS RELEASE
ACC INDICTS DR. SARAH FINDA BENDU AND TWO OTHERS

The Anti-Corruption Commission, on 12th September, 2019, filed an indictment against Dr. SARAH FINDA BENDU, former Executive Director, Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA); Mr. VICTOR LABOR, Procurement Manager, SLRSA; and Ms. KEPIATU ALGHALI, former National Revenue Authority (NRA) Officer; on various counts of Misappropriation of Public Funds, contrary to Section 36(1); Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offence, contrary to Section 128(1); Failure to Comply with Applicable Procedures and Guidelines Relating to the Tendering of Contracts, contrary to Section 48(2)(b); and Failure to Comply with the Applicable Procedures and Guidelines Relating to the Management of Public Funds, contrary to Section 48(2)(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, respectively.

Acting on the Auditor General’s Report that public funds had been misappropriated by Dr. BENDU, Mr. LABOR at the SLRSA, and Ms. ALGHALI of the NRA, between January 2016 and December 2017, the ACC accordingly instituted an investigation. The investigations revealed that Dr. BENDU, Mr. LABOR, and Ms. ALGHALI, conspired to defraud the State of a total sum of TWO BILLION AND NINETY ONE MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY LEONES, EIGHTY EIGHT CENTS (Le2, 091,736,520.88).

The accused persons, with intent to defraud the State, inflated customs duties, and payments for related services, and used the bank accounts of Centrum and KABS Clearing and Forwarding Agencies, and funneled monies in the guise of clearing tow trucks and holographic windshield labels.

Upon the transfer and receipt of each payment, the management of Centrum and KABS, on some occasions, directly transferred the funds to Ms. ALGHALI’s account. On other occasions, they withdrew these monies and handed over same to her in person. The investigations further revealed that Ms. ALGHALI shared these monies with various employees of the SLRSA, including Mr. LABOR and Dr. BENDU; who got the “Lion Share.”

Meanwhile, the three indicted persons are expected to appear in the High Court Holden at Freetown on the 2nd Day of October, 2019. In this light, the Commission wishes to reassure the general public of its unshaken resolve to fight acts of corruption at all levels in Sierra Leone.

For further enquiries on this and other ACC matters, please contact Ms. MARGARET MURRAY, the Public Relations Officer on +232-78-832131.

…………………………..
ALHASSAN KARGBO
DEPUTY DIRECTOR, PUBLIC EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

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