Judge: Increase in number of gold buyers cases in court

There is an increase in the number of cases involving Gold buyers coming before the National Court, says Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika.

He made these comments today when he heard penalty submissions from lawyers on what the court should impose as sentence, on a man who was recently convicted for conspiracy and the misappropriation of over K100,000 as a gold buyer.

Sir Gibbs said many come to court asking for a suspended sentence and restitution to be paid over a period of time but the repayment monies come in ‘dribs and drabs’.

Joseph Wai, was recently convicted for conspiring with others to misappropriate K105,340. The monies misappropriated were from 721 grams of gold he got to see on behalf of Anna Sani, a local gold buyer in Wewak.

The gold was valued at AUD$36,000 which the court calculated to be equivalent to K105,340

Between Oct –Nov 2015, Wai, his wife Kila Verepo (also in court) and two others who are yet to be arrested and charged for the offense got the gold to sell on behalf of Sani, however she never received the monies for her gold.

 Wai’s lawyer asked the court to give his client a non-custody sentence while a time frame is given for him to restitute the monies. He told the court that Wai has the means to repay the monies from his rental properties and hire cars.

His lawyer added that the offense was committed with four other people and one person cannot pay for other people’s sins.

State on the other hand asked the court to impose a sentence of 18 months to 4 years imprisonment.

Wai is currently remanded at Bomana awaiting his sentence which Sir Gibbs indicated he will hand down on Dec 16.

Pic source: annewsments

Sally Pokiton