Saturday, March 2, 2024

I Withdrew Over D8 Million From APAM Account For Tony Ghatas Clearing Agent Jallow Tells Janneh Commission

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By Fatou Sowe
Momodou Alpha Jallow a Clearing and Forwarding Agent living in Sukuta was the latest witness to give evidence at the commission of enquiry probing into the financial activities of former President Jammeh.
During his testimony Jallow said that he works for GHATSON company limited for over 10 years and that he knows about Alhamdulillah Petroleum and Mining Company (APAM).
He further testified that he used to deposit money into APAM’s account.
After he was asked by counsel Assistant, Anna Njie about the source of the money deposited at the said account, he said the money was from the quarry in Gunjur. He added that the Managing Director of APAM, Tony Ghattas used to give him the money to be deposited into APAM’s Guaranty Trust Account.
“There is evidence you withdrew money from APAM’s account?” quizzed the counsel. “Yes,” replied Mr Jallow. “Why were you withdrawing money from APAM’s account?” the counsel further questioned.
“They used to send me.” said Jallow.
According to Jallow one Mr. John who was the accountant at the time used to write Cheques in his name and after withdrawals, he hands over the money to Tony Ghattas.
However, he added that he has no evidence to show that he handed over the money to Ghattas.
He then revealed to the Commission that he withdrew over D8, 000, 000 (Eight Million Dalasi) which he said was handed over to Tony Ghattas.
The next witness to testified was one Mr. Patrick Bedema , a Ghanaian and auto mechanic. He informed the commission that he worked for Tony Ghattas’ Afristar Company limited and his responsibility was painting of cars including Trucks belonging to Mr. Ghattas.
He added that the said company is involved in transportation and Trucks usually carry goods to Gambia Ports Authority. He said Afristar has close to 30 trucks and although he does not know about APAM, he was usually given instructions by the accountant John to withdraw cash from the APAM account.
He recalled that he did withdraw $1 Million and handed the money over to John and that these transactions were done at the Guaranty Trust Bank, adding that they have never used APAM money for Afristar activities or benefits.
Also giving evidence was Mr. Wen Zheng a Chinese who also testified that he came to the Gambia in 2004 as an Engineer and was working for GHATSON Co LTD.
He narrated that a Company based in China called ASTRON had a contract with an Australian Company, Carnegie Minerals and base on that partnership, he was sent to the Gambia by the Chinese Company for engineering services to Carnegie mining company.
He said when Carnegie seized operation in 2008 he went back to China but later came back in 2010 to work for GAMICO owned by Tony Ghattas.
He said he knows Tony Ghattas since 2008 and Tony requested for him to work for APAM. “I worked alone I don’t have a team but there were some Chinese at the operational Department. My salary was $2,700.00 per month,” Zheng disclosed.
“I knowShanghai Gambia it was setup in 2015 but we did not start any business with Sanghai and I have 5% shares at Shanghai. I did not pay anything to Shanghai, I also know that it is run by Tony Ghattas,” he concluded.

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