A MAN accused of obtaining a total of $4,000 from three students with the promise of securing placements for them for Solomon Islands Government (SIG) scholarships awards administered by the National Training Unit (NTU) in the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD) has been remanded in the Honiara Magistrates Court.
Donald Keso is facing three counts of False Pretence.
He was brought by the police to the Honiara Magistrates Court yesterday morning where he was remanded until Monday next week.
A bail application will be made for him on that day.
Public Prosecutor, Steward Tonowane, when making the application to remand Keso said on 18 February 2023, three different victims (students) lodged their complaints of False Pretences against the defendant at the Central Police Station.
“Eleven victims (students) are yet to formally lodge their formal complaints against the defendant,” he added.
Mr Tonowane said all victims were students who were trying to secure an SIG scholarship with the NTU (National Training Unit) now known as Solomon Islands Tertiary Education and Skill Authority (SITESA).
The court heard that on different dates in March and April last year, Keso allegedly lied to the victims that he was working as an agent for the NTU.
He then promised the victims that if they produced their required documents and give him $1,000, he would place their names for SIG scholarships.
Two of the victims allegedly gave Keso $1,000 each, while one allegedly gave him $2,000, for himself and his sister.
Keso then told his victims that he would call them to collect their offer letter when their names were listed for scholarships.
However, the victims waited in vain for a response from Keso.
One of the victims went to the NTU (SITESA) office and enquired if a person named Donald worked at SITESA and in response, a receptionist allegedly told him that a senior female staff that Donald used to work for had already resigned.
The victims were students of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) at that time of the offence.
After some months of waiting, nothing happened as allegedly promised by Keso.
After allegedly obtaining the money, Keso never informed the victims about their placements for SIG Scholarships and was only sighted again at a bus stop in Honiara on 18 February this year.
Keso was later arrested by Police.
Emi Rusi from the Public Solicitors Office assisted Keso in court yesterday.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
Solomon Star, Honiara