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Cape Verde to reopen the doors to replica of ‘Torre de Belém’ world’s oldest regatta

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The island of São Vicente in Cape Verde, says it will reopen the doors of the replica of the Torre de Belém, also known as Ocean Museum, before the passage of The Ocean Race, which is the largest and oldest sailing regatta, which goes around the world.

The competition which starts on January 15, 2023, in the Spanish city of Alicante, will make its first stop in the Cape Verdean Island, before continuing with the world tour.

President of the Cape Verde Institute of Cultural Heritage, Jair Fernandes, who addressed a press conference on Saturday, said with the rehabilitation of the monument, which houses the Sea Museum, it was time to reopen it for the ancient regatta.

The Ocean Race will be passing by São Vicente. That’s why we are racing against time, to provide the city with cultural equipment such as the Museu do Mar, the Ocean Museum, which will interpret the island.

“It will offer the island one more space for visitation, one more space for contemplation, completely rehabilitated, and for the use, enjoyment of the Mindelo people and all those who visit the city,” Fernandes said.

“The intervention is being very profound. But the president expects everything to be ready in time.

“Over more than six months, the fourteenth edition of The Ocean Race will pass through nine international cities.

“The 2022-2023 competition will feature a Portuguese team: the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, winner of last year’s The Ocean Race Europe,” he added.

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Ghanaian social media influencer Hajia4Reall pleads guilty in $2m romance scam case in US

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Ghanaian social media influencer, Mona Faiz Montrage, popularly known as Hajia4Reall, has pleaded guilty in a $2 million romance scam case in the United States.

The United States Attorney’s Office reported on Wednesday that Hajia4Reall who was arrested in the UK last year and extradited to the US, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to receive stolen money, and could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.

The Attorney Office added that Hajia4Reall also agreed to forfeit the sum of $2,164,758.41, as well as make restitution in the same amount while her sentencing is scheduled to be conducted by U.S. District Judge, Paul A. Crotty, at a date yet to be stated.

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, who addressed journalists after the court hearing on Wednesday, confirmed the socislite’s guilty plea which he said emphasized the seriousness of the crime.

Williams explained that the accused knowingly accepted money stolen from older Americans through romance scams, and as a consequence, she faces significant legal ramifications.

“This Office and our law enforcement partners are relentless in bringing fraudsters who target Americans to justice, no matter where they are,” the Attorney said.

He explained that Hajia4Reall, a socialite turned musician, was extradited to the United States from the United Kingdom over her alleged involvement in a $2 million romance scam which is locally called ‘Sakawa’ in her native Ghana, targeting older, single Americans, in May 2023.

During the hearing, prosecutors said she was charged with conspiracy to commit and committing wire fraud and money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

The prosecution noted that Hajia4Reall received money from several victims of romance frauds whom members of the syndicate tricked into sending money.

“Among the false pretences used to induce victims to send money to Hajia4Reall were payments to transport gold to the U.S. from overseas payments to resolve a fake FBI investigation, and payments to assist a fake U.S. Army officer in receiving funds from Afghanistan.

“In total, Hajia4Reall controlled bank accounts that received over $2 million in fraudulent funds from the fraud.

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Director of ‘Dahomey’ Mati Diop shines at Berlin Film Festival 2024

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Senegalese-French writer and and director of African documentary movie, “Dahomey,” Mati Diop, made history when her movie was selected for a special world premiere at the 2024 Berlin Film Festival.

She was joined by other directors of African descent including Gildas Adannou, Habib Ahandessi and Joséa Guedje at the premiere where Kenyan Hollywood actress, Lupita Nyong’o became the ever black person to head the festival’s jury.

“Dahomey” which is one of Africa’s entry in this year’s festival, is a documentary that explores colonization through the return of stolen artifacts plundered by French colonial troops and returned to Benin in West Africa.

Dahomey” follows the journey of plundered artifacts taken by French colonial troops in 1892, being sent from Paris to the Republic of Benin and the impact of their return.

Other African films selected for the festival include “Black Tea” by Mauritanian-born Malian director Abderrahmane Sissako, and “Who Do I Belong To” by Tunisian-Canadian director Meryam Joobeur.

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