Liberia: Man Nabbed with L$1.3M ‘Counterfeit’
.... This latest arrest comes ten months after the Central Bank of Liberia seized L$1 million worth of counterfeit banknotes, in the denomination of L$500 notes.
Banknotes believed to be counterfeit and valued at more than L$1 million have been seized by customs officers assigned to the Roberts International Airport.
The money in question was allegedly confiscated from one Samuel Carlos upon arrival at the Airport via an Asky Airlines flight. The seized currency, according to the Liberia Revenue Authority was in the amount of L$1.3 million — and in two denominations — L$100 and L$500.
At the exchange rate of 150, the money would have fetched Carlos nearly US$9,000 — signaling that counterfeiting Liberia currency in higher denomination is a lucrative business.
This latest arrest comes ten months after the Central Bank of Liberia seized L$1 million worth of counterfeit banknotes, in the denomination of L$500 notes. Also, in 2021, a 33-year-old Nigerian man, Ementuche Benjamin, was arrested in Lofa County with L$1 million in L$500 denominations.
“On Oct 12, (night hours) the Customs Department of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) seized L$1.3 million banknotes at the Roberts International Airport (RIA),” D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh, LRA spokesman said. “The currency was purportedly transported by an arriving passenger on ASKY flight. An investigation by multiple agencies is currently ongoing to establish the authenticity of the banknotes and surrounding circumstances.”
Carlos’ arrest comes as the Central Bank of Liberia rolls out across the country a new family of Liberian currency, with new security features, that strengthen it. The CBL printed L$100 and the existing L$500 banknotes, when held up and flipped, the seal on the banknotes becomes visible inside the left white field and the stars in the threads across the notes do move.
But counterfeit banknotes in such a high denomination do not have such features. Moreover, the paper used for the counterfeit banknotes can be easily detected from their feel and look as well. Meanwhile, the CBL’s Communication Director, Cyrus W. Badio, has disclosed that the state is investigating the latest seizure, after which the Bank “will be informed officially for technical evaluation to ascertain whether the said money is counterfeit banknotes.”