Man fined $20,000 over theft of Home Ministry vehicle rim

A man who stole a vehicle rim valued $15,000 from a car belonging to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) was yesterday fined $20,000 with an alternative of three months’ imprisonment.

The ruling was handed down by Magistrate Faith McGusty at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

The charge against Sadik Mohamed was that on July 22 he stole one vehicle rim valued $15,000.

Mohamed initially appeared before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry and had pleaded guilty to the charge. After his explanation however, the court entered a not guilty plea for him as he denied the prosecution’s facts.

The court was told that on the day in question, the defendant removed the rim from a car which was parked in the tray of a vehicle in front of the ministry’s building on Brickdam, Georgetown

Prosecutor Bharat Mangru said that an on-duty security guard stationed at the ministry intercepted the man and took him to the police station where charges were later instituted.

When given a chance to speak, Mohamed said he had retrieved the rim, which he described as “old,” from a parapet close to a drain outside the ministry’s compound.

The unrepresented defendant stressed that at no time did he remove the item from any vehicle parked at the location. He maintained that he picked it up close to a drain.

However, he begged the court to “finish” his matter right there and then.

Based on his explanation, however, the court cautioned that a not guilty plea would have to be entered on his behalf.

Mohamed gave his address as Lot 27 Grant 1802 Crabwood Creek, Corentyne; Berbice.

The prosecution objected to Mohamed being admitted to bail on the grounds that he did not provide the police with an address on his arrest and if granted bail, there is a likelihood he would not return to stand trial.

Mohamed was then informed by Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry that he would be remanded to prison. His matter was then transferred before Magistrate McGusty for a return date and fixtures for the commencement of trial.

On appearing before Magistrate McGusty, however, Mohamed said he was guilty of the offence and accepted the prosecution’s facts.

He was then ordered to pay a $20,000 fine or alternatively spend three months in prison.

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