More revelations are finding their way to the Alkamba Times since the first publication on Soumbounou Travel Agency owned by fugitive Senegalese businessman Cheich Soumbounou.
The latest efforts for reimbursement comes from the Family of the Former Justice Minister Ba Tambedou in Kanifing South who claimed to have given Mr. Soumbounou D800,000 for the purpose of Umrah travel to Mecca.
Saffie Sonko, a Gambian living in Germany also informed Alkamba that she paid Soumbounou Travel D130,000 for a Saudi Arabia visit and business visa for two of her husband’s elder brother’s children.
Muhammed Tambedou, a member of the Tambedou Family told TAT that her mother was introduced to Soumbounou travel by a family friend.
“My mother wanted to go to Umrah and was introduced to Soumbounou Travel Agency by one of her relatives. My mother also informed her friends who wanted to attend but upon paying D800,000 Soumbounou started acting elusive,” Muhammad explained.
Mr Tambedou narrates that Cheich Soumbounou started giving different dates for the Umrah travel and none of the dates he advanced was fulfilled.
“When we get tired of the lies we demanded our money but before we knew Soumbounou absconded from the country. We consulted Pateh Jallow of Kairaba Police who ordered his junior officer Mr Jamanka to handle the case. The CID launched an investigation and visited Soumbounou travel agency where they found Elizabeth Mendy who recieved the monies paid. Mendy led the investigators to the Eco-Bank where she saved the paid funds. The investigators found out Elizabeth only saved D620,000 out of D800,000, and when asked why she told police that the order she received from her boss (Soumbounou) to give to some people, but she was not complying and officers detained her until the next morning when Soumbounou contacted few men to bail her out. When they couldn’t, Mr Soumbounou himself called and promised to deliver the money on a latter date and asked for Elizabeth to be released. Mrs Mendy was eventually released but Soumbounou failed to deliver again and police said they cannot do much since Soumbounou is not in the country,” Mr Tambedou explained.
Tambedou said he consequently contacted Ousman Jah who is responsible for the Hajj affairs to help.
“We explained the whole story to Mr Jah who said he knows Soumbounou since they all attended the same University in Saudi Arabia. Imam Jah called Soumbounou and asked if he (Soumbounou) knew us and Soumbounou affirmed and also gave a date to Imam Jah to pay back the money but on two occasions Soumbounou never kept his words and now we are taking the matter to court.”
Saffie Sonko, Gambian living in Germany also told the Alkamba Times that she gave D130,000 to Soumbounou Travel Agency through Lamin S Ceesay, a State Counsel (State Lawyer) to facilitate the travelling of two of her husband’s elder brother’s children for a visit and business trip to Saudi Arabia but after paying the money Soumbounou started acting elusive and they never got the visas nor their passport or money back.
She explained that the police invited both Elizabeth Mendy and Sarjo Soumbounou who connected her to Mr Chiech Soumbounou but were released within an hour after Elizabeth promised that Soumbounou will deliver the money.
“Officer Pateh promised to prosecute every criminal matter before him involving Soumbounou in the coming weeks,” she explained.
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