A 23-year old young man who is under trial on a one count criminal charge of stealing from Ocean Bay Hotel rooms has opened his defence before Principal Magistrate Hilary Abeke at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Prosecution accused Jaja Faal of stealing items such as iphones, T-shirts and money amounting to over D82, 750 from rooms 306 and 203 of the Ocean Bay Hotel in Bakau.
A resident of Bakau Sanchaba and a businessman, Mr Faal in his testimony said his business entails the making and repairing of shoes with his shop located opposite the Ocean Bay Hotel. He said shop owners are normally allowed to sell their items to tourists around the hotel side during the seasons.
He told the court that at the time of his selling, two Dutch tourists from Holland came to him and said they admired the shoes he was selling. He said they requested for him to make 20 pairs for them. “We agreed on the contract at Ten Thousand Dalasi (D10, 000.00) to be completed within a week,” Mr Faal recounted.
According to him, after he completed making the shoes, he went to the hotel and informed the chief security about his business transactions with the two Dutch guests who were lodged at the hotel. He said he appealed to the hotel’s chief security to call the two guests for him which he (chief security) did. “When the two tourists came, I handed over the 20 pairs of shoes to them and they gave me the agreed D10, 000 then I left to attend to my business.”
Mr Faal further testified that around 7am the following day, the two guests came to his shop and informed him that they were ready to leave the country but before they go they would like to invite him to the hotel which, he said he accepted. He said around 7pm that evening, he closed his shop and went to the hotel to wait for the two tourists.
“When they came out, they gave me a bag and their contact numbers then boarded a bus and left. The hotel’s chief security then called me and asked for a share from what was given to me but I told him that I did not open the bag yet and did not know what was inside. After opening the bag, I found one canon camera, an iphone mobile and one Samsung Galaxy mobile phone inside,” Faal narrated.
He told the court that the chief security insisted that he must give him one of the phones because he has been helping him (Faal) to have access to the guests, saying if he (Faal) insist on not giving him as he requested, he (the chief security) would sent him out of the hotel should he come with his items to the hotel another time. He said he offered the chief security D500 but he declined to take the money.
He explained that he went back to his shop and was there until around 11am when two plain cloth officers came and told him that he was needed at the Police Station. He said no complainant has ever appeared in his case.
The case is adjourned to the 3rd August.
by Meita Touray