Politics News

Stolen U.S. cars’ trial begins

The Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice will today begin hearing into multiple charges brought against four defendants accused of stealing and receiving seven vehicles belonging to different persons in the U.S..

The trial has be set to begin following the selection of a 15 – man jury panel to hear the facts into multiple charges.

Two of the defendants, Armstrong Tony Campbell and Sheak K. Brown where present in court on Monday when presiding Judge Yussif D. Kaba summarized the indictment to the jury panel. The remaining two yet to be
found Kandakai Sherman and U.S. – based Sheriff Lasuado will get separate trial.

The four defendants are indicted here for theft of property, economic sabotage, smuggling, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation. They are accused of allegedly stealing and shipping to Liberia seven cars belonging to different persons in the U.S. without being authorized between July and October 2016.

Besides allegedly stealing the seven vehicles, prosecutors here say the four defendants understated the value of the vehicles and paid into government revenue US$21,800.65 “when they should have paid US$92,233”.

All the seven vehicles in question are said to have been “confirmed stolen by U.S. Law Enforcement and police records”, and title documents of the vehicles were said to have been provided to the Liberia National Police during the course of the investigation.

The indictment claims that defendant Campbell provided false and incorrect information about the vehicles to the shipping line, and caused their broker New Millennium Cargo Handling to make false declaration in the Liberia Revenue Authority’s ASYCUDA System about the year model, VIN numbers and the mileage of the vehicles.
The cars were allegedly shipped to Liberia in the name of a non-existent and fictitious company named “Sheak K. Brown Building Material Incorporated.

Prosecutors say the defendants understated the true value of the vehicles to defraud government of the required taxes.

Before physical examination of the vehicles could be conducted here, prosecutors say defendant Campbell and Sheak K. Brown “irregularly caused a reassessment and amendment” to be carried out to their previous declaration done on 8 October 2016 by defendant kandakai Sherman.

Despite making such an alleged amendment, government says the defendants once more provided misleading information concerning the vehicles.

On 12 October, 2016, defendant Sherman is said to have provided the third set of information about the same vehicles, but the fake VIN numbers which were earlier declared were not changed due to the fact that Sherman was in a hurry to do another reassessment sought by Campbell and Brown when they knew that physical assessment was imminent.

The trial begins at 10am on Tuesday, 20 June at the Criminal Court “C”, Temple of Justice.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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