Written by Jacob Sax Conteh, Assistant Editor

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota:  Scores of Sierra Leoneans, Vietnamese and even Americans would not be travelling this Christmas though they paid for their airline tickets weeks ago.  Their travel agent, Raymond Borboh of Majesty Travel Agency in Brooklyn, Minnesota has reportedly ran away with their money after issuing them fake tickets. 

For Nicole, an African American living in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the frigid temperature outside does not compare with the chill that has taken over her life because of a 419-style scheme a man who calls himself Raymond Borboh of Majesty Travel Agency has pulled on her and scores of others. Unlike many African Americans who are suspicious of Africans, Nicole loves Africans.    To celebrate Christmas, she decided months ago to fly to Africa to celebrate the holidays with her friends.  After working two jobs to save money for the trip, a few weeks ago, she was passing by one of the small shopping malls in town when she noticed Majesty Travel Agency.  A man who introduced himself as Raymond Borboh greeted her warmly and promised to help her with her ticket.  He charged her two thousand dollars for a round trip ticket to Lagos, Nigeria.  Nicole paid cash, got a receipt and travel itinerary. 

A few days ago, when Nicole checked to confirm her flight, she noticed that her itinerary was missing from the airline’s website.  The airline told her that the agent had cancelled her trip. She went back to the shopping center to meet Mr. Borboh, but he had disappeared.  For the past few days, scores of Vietnamese, Sierra Leonean, and other nationalities have been bracing the cold looking for Raymond Borboh, but no one could find him. His travelling agency website has been disabled, and his Facebook account is no longer active.

Raymond Borboh might have moved his shop to another location in Minnesota or another state to find more victims to dupe.  According to Minnesota police, this is not the first time Raymond has swindled people.  I am calling on the Sierra Leonean public both here and in Sierra Leone to be on the lookout for this unscrupulous swindler.  If anyone finds him, please call the Brooklyn Center Police Department at 763-569-3333. What Raymond has allegedly done is to give all of us a very bad reputation, and we have to confront him if we know who he is. The time has come for all of us to realize that the only way to make money is through genuine reputable ways, and swindling people in dubious means will not take us anywhere.

Editor’s Note: We have used the name Nicole to protect the true identity of the African American woman who might be ridiculed by her friends and relatives for buying a ticket from a complete stranger and paying cash. Moreover, according to American law, Raymond is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

We also want to advise Sierra Leoneans to be wary of fraudsters and criminals in their midst.  Sad to say, there are criminals engaged in these businesses. Before you buy a plane ticket, mortgage , insurance etc .from certain Sierra Leoneans, do a thorough background check on them to make sure that you are  not being lured into a criminal transaction. Find out first  from other people who have bought plane tickets, mortgage or insurance from the person    There are many honest Sierra Leoneans running travel agencies, mortgage businesses  or insurance companies but  there are many also who are nothing but criminals and by doing a background check you will be saving yourself a whole ton of aggravation and financial doom  . You don’t want to be duped by the bad eggs.  Many Sierra Leoneans have faced unforeseen foreclosures because of bad mortgages criminally written by certain Sierrra Leoneans. It is therefore important to watch one’s steps before transacting business with some of these Sierra Leoneans.

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