Man on trial for alleged conspiracy

National

A FORMER employee of Bank South Pacific (BSP) who was committed to trial in the national court on conspiracy charges gave a statement to defend himself at the Waigani Committal Court yesterday.
Benjamin Levi, 30, from Vunamami in East New Britain, allegedly conspired with others to negotiate a fraudulent deposit of a K1.5 million cheque drawn against Koroba-Lake Kopiago district (Hela) operating account at BSP town branch between Dec 11 and 15 last year.
Magistrate Cosmas Bidar said the committal process was a two-step process in which the court would consider the totality of the evidence after the defendant gave his or her statement with regards to Section 96 of the District Court Act.
He also claimed that he was not aware that prior to him receiving the cheque it was presented to another BSP branch in the city, but was not successfully deposited.
Police allege that between Dec 11 and 15 last year, Rasila Tupolam, who was a former employee of BSP and Levi’s former colleague, received a K1.5 million cheque from a friend identified as Blake O’ Brian.
Tupolam passed it on to Levi, and they allegedly conspired to deposit the cheque as a normal deposit.
Levi was then employed as an analyst anti-money laundering officer with BSP in Port Moresby.
It was alleged that the cheque was a payment to O’Brian’s company, U V Kerry Contractors Ltd for the upgrading of Kopiago district drainage system in Hela.
While hearing Levi’s statement, Bidar reminded him not to talk about current problems relating to his employment. He ordered the matter to return to court on Oct 6 for a final ruling. Meanwhile, Levi’s co-accused Tupolam also appeared yesterday at the Waigani Committal Court facing the same charges. Bidar adjourned Tupolam’s matter to Monday.

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