Vejekset Keskinen, the Finnish businessman who accused Hamamat Montia, winner of the 2006 Miss Malaika beauty pageant of stealing his unregistered Toyota Highlander valued at $35,000, yesterday told an Accra Circuit Court that he was not her lover.
The businessman told the court presided over by Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku that he was not in any relationship with her but that the former beauty queen was just a friend.
He said this during his evidence-in-chief led by ASP Kofi Abadamloora. According to him, he was introduced to Hamamat by a friend called Carl, a Finnish, as a professional model in 2010 and they subsequently became friends.
The Finnish national who spoke English sparingly, said he never promised to give Hamamat Montia the said vehicle, adding that he bought it with the aim of establishing a business in Ghana.
The complainant also said as a friend he discussed his business plans with the suspect and said she used to accompany him wherever he went anytime he was in Ghana.
Even though Keskinen, the CEO of VELJEKSET KESKINEN OY in Finland also stated that he invited Miss Malaika to act as a judge in a beauty pageant for African ladies in Finland, he said the contest eventually did not come on.
The complainant also said she to secure a three-month visa to Finland which enabled her to spend three months in that country.
Keskinen disclosed that he later visited Ghana to study the business environment with the aim of establishing a company in the country and Hamamat took him round in a rented vehicle.
The complainant said he later decided to purchase a vehicle to use whenever he came to Ghana on his business trip – to make his movements easier. According to him, Hamamat who said she knew of a company that dealt in vehicles introduced De-Gjando Company Limited to him.
In addition, the complainant stated that he bought the Toyota Highlander 2008 model from the company at $35,000.
He said after making full payment he left the vehicle under the care of the company together with his particulars and passport pictures for the vehicle to be registered in his name.
Explaining further, he said Hamamat, without his knowledge, went to the company and requested for the vehicle. The complainant maintained that the company staff, knowing she was his friend, released the vehicle to her.
She refused to return it and rather demanded the original documents of the vehicle from the company, but they initially declined. He said the accused person has since registered the vehicle in her name after securing the documents and asserted that all efforts to retrieve it had proved futile.
She was further charged with the offence of stealing, but she pleaded not guilty and is on a GH¢100,000 bail with two sureties – one to be a public servant.
The case continues today with cross-examination by Addo Atuah, counsel for Hamamat.