Passport fraud… Lebanese national in Police net

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Freetown is currently investigating one Mr. Fuad Ayoub for being allegedly involved in illegally dealing in Sierra Leonean passports.

A CID source has this newspaper that their investigations have revealed that Mr. Fuad Ayoub has been illegally issuing passports to people especially Lebanese nationals who want to claim citizenship  right in Sierra Leone.

According to investigations done by this medium a translated video from Arabic into, Mr. Ayoub is telling one Mr. Mohamed whom he was doing the illegal passport deal with,  that he charges $4,500 for one passport but because of one his friend by the name of Mr. Nabil who introduced Mr. Mohamed to him he will accept  $4000 from him for one passport.

or the passport, that it comes with no offences or legal problems and where ever you want to travel with it you can easily go because it is 100% authentic and there is no way to know that it is fake, that they can even use it to apply for Visa’s, you can renew it, literally there is not even any half percentage problems in it, that he can assure his customers, that this is not the first time he makes passports for Ayoub further tells Mohamed that Nabil can confirm that to him that he  just finished making a passport for someone about a week ago and he has made several passports for other people.

In the said translation, Ayoub said that he makes Ordinary, Service and Diplomatic Passports.

Ayoub further stated that he can even make Serra Leonean national identity cards as well as birth certificates to prove that they born in Sierra Leone.

The source explained that Ayoub has been engaged in this illegal business for a very long times, asking for a lot of money from people for the passports.

The source stated that they suspect that there are senior workers at the Immigration Department who may be working with Ayoub in this syndicate.

Ayoub was arrested on Monday, 30th May, 2022 in Freetown, and he is being investigated by the Anti-Fraud Department of the CID.

In an interview with the head of the CID, Commissioner of Police Robert Peter George said the matter is being investigated, while Ayoub is in custody at the CID.

Defence Ministry reacts to death of Staff Sergeant Barrie

The attention of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been drawn to a message in circulation on social media alleging that a Soldier was shot and killed at the President Lodge. According to the message, Staff Sergeant Barrie was shot to death because he made a statement on the delay for the supply of take home rice for the month of May 2022. The said statement is completely false and the story misleading.

The MoD would therefore like to inform the public of the correct account of the incident which led to the unfortunate death of the RSLAF Soldier.

The facts are as follows: On 17 May 2022, one civilian residing at No. 49 Davies Drive, Hill Station, made a distress call to Staff Sergeant Barrie and Sergeant Tucker (close friends of his), requesting for assistance to contain the unruly behavior of his son. The two Soldiers immediately arrived at his premises unarmed. Whilst the Soldiers were both attentively listening to him, his son unexpectedly appeared with a knife and stabbed both Sergeant Tucker and Staff Sergeant Barrie.

The two Soldiers were immediately taken to the 34 Military Hospital at Wilberforce Barracks.

Unfortunately Staff Sergeant Barrie died moments later whilst Sergeant Tucker is still responding to treatment. The suspect was arrested on the same day and handed over to the Sierra Leone Police at Hill Top Police Station, Mountain Division for investigation.

The public is hereby reminded that such acts have the potential to incite Soldiers which may affect the peace and security of the country. It is therefore advised that citizens should avoid publishing or spreading false messages on social media that are inciting and misleading to Soldiers.

MoD unequivocally condemns the stabbing of serving Military personnel and sympathizes with the bereaved family.

Prisons Director General Bows out

The Director General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Service (SLCS) Mr Joseph Lamboi has bid a farewell to the Sierra Leone Correctional Service on Tuesday 31st May 2022.

Mr Lamboi has served the Department for forty- two (42) years and during his service, he worked as Prisons Manager, Head of Public Relations, Regional Commander West, Director of Support Services, Deputy Director General, and he now leaves the Service having ultimately worked as Director General.

Joe Lamboi served as Director General for two years above and his term of service was supposed to have ended in October 2020, but it was extended by the government by this year.

Under his regime as DG, he diverted funds towards the Construction of a Child- Friendly Centre for children of female Inmates, meeting room, senior Officers mess, resource centre, tuck shop for Inmates, among others.

He also saw the need that young officers with the right Character are placed in position of trust and such positions were advanced in age and experience.

Mr. Lamboi will be fondly remembered for his broad smiles and his cautious oratory.

Dr. Dennis Bright lambast census results

The Chairman of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Dr. Dennis Bright has lambasted of the current census report released by the Chief Census officer recently.

Below is the statement

“You set out to count the number of people living in a village. There are 500 people living there. For some reason, you count only 300 people. The population of the village cannot be 300 inhabitants even if you used the best technology to do your counting.”

The SLPP provisional census results published on Tuesday 31st May 2022 are telling us so many interesting stories.

Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) says that the district with the largest population in Sierra Leone today is Kenema with 772,472 inhabitants; there is an increase of 27% since 2015. Maybe soon they will tell us whether this increase is due to people rushing to Kenema because there is a lot of electricity, water, health facilities, jobs etc.! Or whether the good people of Kenema were so happy that the SLPP won the elections that they just celebrated by making 162,581 more babies!

Another interesting story from the census results is that in spite of the heavy rural-urban migration and the very visible swelling up of the city of Freetown (note that in recent years, even beggars from places like Kenema and Bo have flooded the streets of Freetown), the SLPP census claims that the population of Freetown has decreased by almost half since 2015, Freetown now has fewer people than Kenema!

And the same applies to Bo! According to the SLPP census there are 150,274 more people in Bo than in Freetown!

Even Bonthe where the population was just over 200,000 people in 2015, that district has now boomed to nearly 300,000. It’s crazy, isn’t it?

Here is one more indication that this is just an SLPP adjustment, not a census. The numbers in areas considered to be SLPP strongholds have significantly increased whereas in opposition dominated areas they have been significantly reduced. The populations in the North West, North East and Western Regions have altogether dropped by 236,799 whereas the South and Eastern regions have been credited with an additional 685,214 people. Crazy, isn’t it?

It is abundantly clear that this census was brewed specifically to favour the chances of the ruling SLPP regime in the forthcoming election. Using these skewed results, it is more than likely that the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL) will soon be going to work to try to carve out new boundaries and provide more seats in Parliament for those areas in the South and East where SSL says the population has increased and probably reduce the number of Parliamentary seats for the Northern and Western regions where they say the population has decreased.

A few facts that we must remember about this crazy census are as follows:

1. Government was in such a hurry to do this census that they broke the law by starting the process even before the Proclamation to do the census was brought to Parliament. Besides when it finally came to Parliament the law makers said that the Bill was not properly laid.

2. There was disapproval and opposition to the conduct of a census at this time by a significant percentage of the population which explains the widespread unprecedented rejection of this census by the people of this country.

3. Due to the haste and Government’s obstinate desire to do a census at all costs, the entire process was marred by so many errors, blunders and irregularities that it is shocking to see Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) coming up with results knowing fully well that they are definitely not credible or usable. After at least two postponements, trainings that ended the day before enumerators were deployed into the field, some faulty equipment, demotivated and protesting workers that complained about not being paid or being cheated, enumerators not visiting many villages and communities, it is really a big stain on the expected professionalism of our official statisticians that they do not have the courage and decency to cancel the results.

4. Talking about professionalism, SSL should be worried that a major player in this so-called census at the level of Director, whose role in the handling of data was critical to the outcome of the census, is currently being interrogated under the Dominion Purge as someone whose degree may not be genuine and whose qualifications may have been limited to just a few short seminars and trainings.

We now understand why the World Bank decided to withdraw from this mock census, they knew that it would be wishy-washy and did not wish to be associated with the “porridge” that has now been presented as a provisional result.

Just a few days ago, on the eve of the announcement of the results, I attended a meeting at the SSL office in which a very senior person in that institution was blaming us in the opposition for being the influence behind the refusal of people in some communities to be counted. Many people will attest though that although they wanted to take part, no enumerator turned up at their doorstep or even in their neighbourhood, for reasons that we now know are linked to the non-payment of their stipends and the general disgruntlement of the field staff. Whatever the reason may be, the truth is that a lot of people living in Sierra Leone were not counted.

And there lies the problem! If so many people were left out for whatever reason, this cannot be called a census of the population. It is basically a census of the willing and the lucky adjusted cleverly to fit into the grand plan for 2023. It is hoped that this result will remain as it is, a provisional one to be trashed after due consideration has been given to the multiple dangers we may face if they are certified. If this was a normal country, the ACC would be investigating SSL for wasting State resources on this failed census even though technical partners like the World Bank had advised that the results may not be credible if they proceeded with it when they did.

But this is Paopa land where anything is possible.

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