A Company called Magsoms operated by a married couple, husband and wife with Account at the Ecobank (SL) Ltd is where the wife Mrs. Catherine Karta is gainfully employed as a Senior Member of Staff. She is also one of the principal signatories to the Company’s Account, where funds from illegal activities engaged by the couple and their associate business partners are lodged whenever a deal or deals have been accomplished and payment made to them. In addition, payments meant for the Sierra Leone Government paid to the National Revenue Authority (NRA) account are siphoned by them and paid into this account. Mrs. Catherine Karta’s interest over this account is unimaginable, not because she is a signatory to it, but what comes into the account after State Funds have been manipulated by her husband Mr. Solomon Karta and associates and payments affected into the account.



The current financial fraud, dubbed economic crime under investigation jointly by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Anti Corruption Commission(ACC) could be described as gargantum and shocking, involving not only Mr. and Mrs. Karta but a host of other NRA, Bank Officials and National Shipping Agency Staffs. Without any knowledge, Mrs. Catherine Karta  least imagined that while she may be enjoying how the Account of Magsoms is gradually getting fat,  key Executive Members of the Ecobank have been tracking down the accounts of their customers to prevent money laundering and the deposit of other illegal funds that are mostly lodged into Commercial Banks for the purpose of clean-ups.

Payments from Mining Companies, and consignees with large exports and imports find their way into the Private Accounts of most of the NRA Officials both at the Queen Elizabeth Quay 11 and at the Head Office. Elizabeth King, Goods and Service Tax (GST) Cashier, who lives at 4 Juba Hill, is wanted by the Police. She was tipped in a telephone conversation by Mr. Solomon Karta that both the Ecobank in collaboration with a team of CID and ACC officials have discovered their illegal operations and are now being rounded up. With this unpleasant news, Elizabeth King took to her heels and went into hibernation, while some of the key players have now been arrested and detained at the Criminal Investigation Department(CID) helping  with the investigation.

Mr. Raymond Kamara, Programme Manager of ASCIKUDA woke up on Saturday Morning and found a team of investigators at his door step with the sad news that he was under arrest and should report at the CID for interrogation. This syndicate has been short changing the Sierra Leone Government and depriving the people of this country has reportedly been in operation for long until few days back when it was picked up by Ecobank Officials and report made to the Police and Senior Management Team including Commissioner General, Haja Kallay Kamara. Bank officials sources say wasted no time to arrest some of the Staff Members that are involved in the fraud.

At the Criminal Investigation Department, Milton Alpha a GST Collector, Felix Jusu another GST Collector, Bakie Minah another GST Collector are reportedly responding to questions from the investigators. Also, some Staff Members of the Ecobank who were in partnership with them have been detained. Six members of the Bank, namely Momoh Turay, Isata Osaio Kamara and Catherine Karta are helping the investigators to dig out the truth. From the side of the Shipping Agency, Abdul Koroma, Abdul Kamara and others are also working with the police.

Sources say money discovered in the private account of Solomon Karta is within the range of Le700 Million (Seven Hundred Million Leones) and the account of Magsoms is around Le400 Million. In the private account of Abraham Lavallie, money to the tune of Le400Million (Four Hundred Million Leones) was discovered.

Sources close to the Ecobank have intimated this medium that the financial institution is very determined and won’t stop at anything to prosecute the alleged State Fraudsters as their motive was not only to deprive the State of its resources but to tarnish the image of the Bank that it has built over the years.

Meanwhile, Senior Officials of the Bank are keeping seal lips on the matter and monitoring the investigation on a daily basis. State House political sources revealed is also monitoring the investigation process. It is likely that more fraudsters will be caught in the coming days as the effort is geared towards cleaning the system.

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