An employee of a Hamburg transport company stole from his employer 35 times, totalling at least 20,000 euros. The public prosecutor’s office demanded a prison sentence, but the Guinean was spared this for two reasons.

Theft in nine cases: A 31-year-old man stole around 20,000 euros as an employee of a Hamburg transport company. He was sentenced to a fine. The court saw several very different reasons why the man did not have to go to prison.

Right at the beginning of the trial on Wednesday in the St. Georg district court, the defendant Ousmane D. had his statement read out. It says: Yes, he stole around 20,000 euros from his employer, a money transport company. He did this because his sister, who lives in Guinea, was seriously ill. Her only hope for a normal life was a costly operation. That’s why he stole the money – he didn’t use any euros for himself. The theft was the biggest mistake of his life.

31-year-old Ousmane D., who has lived in Germany since 2009, is originally from Guinea and is the father of three children. He has been working at HLS Hamburger Logistik Service GmbH as a note distributor since February 2017. His job: When the large amounts of cash from the Bundesbank arrive at HLS, Ousmane divides them into different “portions” which are then delivered to customers like Haspa. The HLS processes several million euros every day.

In his role as a note distributor, Ousmane D. was accused of stealing around 80,000 euros, spread over 35 thefts in 2018 and 2019. Of these 35 cases, only nine could be proven at the end of the almost six-hour trial, i.e. approximately 20,000 euros instead of around 80,000 euros.

Ousmane D. confessed to the theft of these 20,000 euros in his statement right at the beginning of the trial. When he was caught red-handed stealing around 3,500 euros at his workplace on June 26, 2019, he immediately confessed everything. He accompanied police investigators to his apartment, where he showed them his hiding places: 9,000 euros in the closet and another 4,000 euros under a sofa cushion. In addition to this amount of stolen cash, there was another around 3,500 euros, which Ousmane D. said he had already sent to his family in Guinea.

The video material that was viewed was not sufficient evidence to assign the remaining 26 cases to Ousmane D. Even the testimony of the HLS department head could not convince the court that it was really Ousmane D. who stole the remaining money.

The reason: Ousmane D. is only one of at least six people who process cash deliveries for HLS. So it’s quite possible that others also accessed it.

In addition to a fine, the public prosecutor also asked for a prison sentence of six months. However, the verdict is limited to a fine of 240 daily rates of 30 euros each. However, 80 of these can be considered to have already been completed.

This leaves 160 daily rates of 30 euros each: Ousmane D. has to pay 4,800 euros. The remaining 80 daily rates are considered to have already been paid because there was a procedural delay that violated the rule of law: the file had been lying for more than two years without anything concrete having happened, according to the judge.

The waiver of a prison sentence is also due to several mitigating circumstances: Ousmane D. had no criminal record and has not committed any criminal offenses since he was charged over five years ago. In addition, when the theft was discovered, he immediately admitted everything and willingly led the investigators to the hidden cash.

A little later he paid back the stolen 3,500 euros that he had already sent to his family to the HLS. The family emergency, which the defendant stated as the motive for the theft, also contributed to the avoidance of a prison sentence.

“It was the biggest mistake of my life,” repeated Ousmane D. after the verdict. Since the crime he has no longer been able to look his son in the eyes. His sister is still seriously ill, as Ousmane D. said when asked by the judge. But he will continue to look for ways to help her.

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The original for this article “Money messenger (31) steals from employers 35 times – two things keep him out of prison” comes from Mopo.