MASSIVE THEFT AT UBA

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By Feima Sesay

29yrs old Banker Patrick Abubakarr Moore was on Tuesday 19 April 2022 sent to prison over an alleged theft at United Bank of Africa (UBA).

The accused  made his first appearance before Magistrate Sahr Keikura of Pademba road court No.1 in Freetown on six count charges ranging from Larceny by servant contrary to section 17 (1) (a) of the Larceny Act 1916 and other related offences.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused  on diverse dates between 23rd March 2018 and 21st March 2022 at the united Bank of Africa (UBA) the western area in Freetown being a servant employed as Acting head of domestic operations by the United Bank of Africa main branch at No.9 Charlotte Street in Freetown Stole the sum of two hundred and sixty two million, forty two thousand, one hundred and sixty seven Leones, twelve cents(262,042,162.12) which he posted into savings account No.540620520003171 and later using the bank mobile app platform transfer same to your wallet, property of the said bank.

The police further alleged  on count two that the accused on a  date between 1st June 2020 and 21st March 2022 at the said bank stole the sum of four hundred and fifty seven million, three and twenty eight thousand, one hundred and ninety four Leones fifteen cents(457,328,194.15) which he posted into the said account.

 On count three it was alleged that the accused on the 26th January 2022 and 24th March 2022 at the said office stole the sum of one hundred and twenty two million and fifty five thousand, nine hundred and fifty one Leones, Forty seven cents (122,055,951.47) posted into the said account.           

Count four added that the accused  on a date between 1st June 2020 and 21st March 2022 stole the sum of twenty million one hundred and forty nine thousand and twenty seven Leones, Fort two cents(20,149,277.42) posted into the said account.

The particulars of offence for  count five  state that the accused on diverse date between 28th January 2022 and 24th March 2022 stole the sum of twenty nine million three hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred and fifty two Leones(29,316,652.00) posted into the said account whiles count six  state that the accused on diverse dates between 18th June 2021 and 23rd March 2022 stole the sum of two hundred and thirty four million, one hundred and seventy seven thousand, one hundred and sixteen Leones and three cents(234,177,166.03)  posted into the said account

The charges were read and explained to the accused person in court but no plea was taken.

Counsel representing the accused person Charles I Williams applied for bail on behalf of the accused person that he is a Sierra Leonean resident within this jurisdiction that he has reliable sureties who are willing and ready to enter into recognizance on his behalf, adding that he is not a flight risk nor will he interfere with prosecution witness or witnesses.  He made his application pursuant to section 79 (2) of the Criminal procedure Act No.32 of 1965

However Magistrate Keikura refused bail and adjourned the matter to the 25th April 2022 for further hearing

Assistant Superintendent of police Christiana Davies Cole is Prosecuting the matter.

Appointment without Letter…

ACC to investigate Tokeh Beach Resort

By Alusine Babah Kamara

 Investigations carried out by this medium indicate that all efforts made by some staff of the Tokeh Beach Resort in asking for their appointment letters turned out fruitless.

Some Sierra Leoneans working for one of Sierra Leone most tourists favorable hotel named Tokeh Beach Resort which is located at Tokeh sands, Tokeh Beach Village are desperately calling on through this medium the ACC to help them collect their appointment letters from the management of the hotel.

The angry vulnerable staff who asked for undisclosure of their identity explains to this medium that some of them have worked for the Tokeh Beach Resort for over 5 years without seeing their appointment letters.

“Every time we ask for our appointment letters the head of Human resources department Mr Sheriff Bangura will tell us different story which we are tired of”, The staff complained

“My brother we did not know the faith of our end of service for this hotel since we have not been able to set eyes on our appointment letters. The human resources manager/officer only gives appointment letters to few staff he handpicked”, Staff explained.

The workers also mentioned an additional of 4 hours to their 8 hours of working time which they say they asked him to add the sum of three hundred thousand Leones to their basic salaries for the 4 hours additional time but what doubt them was, the manager instead of adding the amount they ask for he only add what he feels like adding.

“Even in the area of joining us to National Social Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT), this happen few months ago after when NASSIT came and asked them to pay over one hundred and ten million Leones (110,000,000) for failing to join us. For the labor union, we have been joined according to them but only few have received their membership cards”, Disappointed staff explained.

Sheriff Bangura is the head of Human Resources department for Tokeh Beach Resort, he however debug the allegations told the reporter that the hotel have 40 full paid up workers plus two volunteers.

I have proven which I can give to you now to show you that all what these people are saying is not true. As I say to you we have only two people who are not paid up workers who are on probation, Bangura said.

After discovery that the documents take before this reporter where not completely filled, the human resources manager boldly told the report that those are the documents given to the workers as appointment letters.

Yes I have given them with a full mandatory, in fact I have the document that can substantial that, why I leave it as it is like this because at the end I have to justify because increments are coming up, other thing are coming up for example before it’s just le500 but now we have got up to le600, le700 and le750 like wise and everything is being changing systematically so because of my own I leave it like but in their own it has all the brake down. Bangura lamented.

All of our workers are on NASSIT you can cross check with them or NASSIT and for labor all of them are members of labor union and they are paying their fifteen thousand Leones as dues even though it is the minimal, HRM Bangura says.

Bangura – the minimal salary was not eight hundred thousand Leones (le800,000), the minimal salary was six hundred and seventy thousand leones (le670,000).

Based upon this agreement as you said they are now working 12 hours but 8 hours is the actual time of government procedure. The 4 hours is an agreement between the company and workers.

 That is to say the 4 hours is going to be treated like over time which we do agree.

The decedent was done base upon high ranking, those that are receiving the highest salary get less on the overtime and those that receives less as salary get high for over time.

SLCB Champions Sensitization Drive

…Govt. plans to change local currency

Sierra Leone will shortly replace its present currency with new re-denominatioin Leone notes and cents. The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), now led by Yusufu Abdul Silla, is spearheading the charge in educating the people about the new Leones and cents-based currency.

SLCB has put up displays of the new notes and cents at all of its branches and other outlets around the country to give value to all of its stakeholders, including the Bank of Sierra Leone. It has created advertisements and flyers displaying the new currency for transmission and popularization across the country.

Three zeros have been removed from the new Leone, which has the same value as the previous Leone.

As a result, the old Le 1,000 will now be worth Le1; the old Le5,000 will now be worth Le5; while the old Le10,000 will be worth Le10. This means that Le 100,000 will be worth Le 100 and Le 1,000,000 will be worth Le 1,000. Le10 now equals one cent, Le50 equals five cents, Le100 equals ten cents, Le250 equals twenty-five cents, and Le500 equals fifty cents.

Under the energizing leadership of new Managing Director, Yusufu Abdul Silla, SLCB continues to prioritize customer satisfaction.

Mr. Silla has a Master of Science in International Banking and Finance from London Metropolitan University, with a concentration in

International Finance. Some of the topics covered in this course include banking operations and strategy, domestic finance, international banking, corporate finance, research methods, portfolio management, qualitative methods, and macroeconomics.

The new Managing Director is described as a highly motivated, goal-oriented, team player, and people-oriented financial-services leader with excellent time management skills. His previous assignment was as Managing Director of the Commerce and Mortgage Bank, PLC.

Mr. Silla continues to vigorously drive SLCB’s digital transformation targeted at boosting the bank’s portfolio, having successfully moved the Mortgage Bank from a loss-making position of Le28 billion to a pre-tax profit of Le14.6 billion in the bank’s 2020 audited financial statement.

His vision for pushing SLCB to new heights includes staff training and motivation, as well as maintaining an organizational structure that is capable of meeting all of the departments’ goals and objectives.

Standard Chartered Bank reassures Sierra Leoneans

Standard Chartered Bank has assured the people of Sierra Leone that the Bank’s decision to transition its local operations to new ownership is not to be taken as a negative reflection on the performance of the Bank in Sierra Leone and it is not to be taken as a negative reflection of the macroeconomic situation of the country.

This is according to an official Press Release sent to Awareness Times Newspaper on Thursday April 14th 2022.

According to the release, the international Bank is leaving seven countries namely Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe whilst in two additional countries of Tanzania and Ivory Coast, it will close down retail banking and only continue Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking (“CCIB”) business in those two countries.

Hence a total of nine (9) countries are affected by the decision.

However the Bank is carefully iterating that it is a safe transition to new ownership and not an abrupt shut down of operations in Sierra Leone.

Lamin Manjang, the Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Nigeria and West Africa Cluster, is quoted as saying: “We have served in Sierra Leone for 128 years and while we transition the Bank to new ownership, we are keen to ensure that the process is smooth for our clients, staff and other stakeholders” adding further that “We will work closely with colleagues, clients and stakeholders to minimize disruption whilst we transition to new ownership”.

Bill Winters the group CEO in London is also assuring that: “We are grateful to our colleagues and partners in each of these impacted markets for their hard work and dedication and are committed to supporting them through this transition”.

Please see below to read the full text of the Press Release as issued by Madam Kumba Ngongou, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the Sierra Leone office.

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STANDARD CHARTERED PLC –

Standard Chartered announces changes to refocus and simplify its presence in Africa & Middle East region

14th April 2022

As set out during its full year 2021 results presentation, Standard Chartered PLC (“the Group”) is accelerating its strategy to deliver efficiencies, reduce complexity and drive scale. Today the Group announces a set of actions to redirect resources within its Africa and Middle East (“AME”) region to those areas where it can have the greatest scale and growth potential, in order to better support its clients. 

Subject to regulatory approval, the Group now intends to exit onshore operations in seven markets in AME and in a further two markets focus solely on its Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking (“CCIB”) business.

The Group has invested heavily in recent years in the AME region including fundamentally transforming its digital capabilities in its African markets. It has also been expanding its footprint to cover some of the largest and fastest growing economies, having recently opened its first branch in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and obtained preliminary approval for a banking license in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The seven markets where there will be a full exit of operations are Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.

In Tanzania and Cote d’Ivoire, the Consumer, Private and Business Banking businesses will be exited and the focus will turn solely to CCIB.

The Group remains focused on serving its clients where it can make the most impact. The Group will continue to serve corporate and institutional clients and facilitate cross-border capital flows and offshore business in all the above markets from its international network.

The Group is currently present in 59 markets and serves clients in a further 83. The markets that will be exited generated around one per cent of total Group 2021 income and a similar proportion of profit before tax.

Standard Chartered Group CEO, Bill Winters, said: “As we set out earlier in the year, we are sharpening our focus on the most significant opportunities for growth while also simplifying our business. We remain excited by a number of opportunities we see in the AME region, as illustrated by our new markets, but remain disciplined in our assessment of where we can deliver significantly improved shareholder returns. Collectively, our actions will position the AME franchise for the next phase of growth after a very strong 2021 performance. We are grateful to our colleagues and partners in each of these impacted markets for their hard work and dedication and are committed to supporting them through this transition.”

Lamin Manjang, Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Nigeria and West Africa Cluster, said: “It has been a very tough decision and not one that was taken lightly. We have served in Sierra Leone for 128 years and while we transition the Bank to new ownership, we are keen to ensure that the process is smooth for our clients, staff and other stakeholders. This decision is not a reflection on the performance of the Bank in Sierra Leone or the macroeconomic situation of the country. We will work closely with colleagues, clients and stakeholders to minimize disruption whilst we transition to new ownership.

We are proud of our presence in Africa and the Middle East and remain committed to serving our many customers across the Region”.

There will be no change to how the Group reports these businesses for the first quarter 2022 results. Changes to their presentation will be shown at the half year 2022 results.

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