Liberia: Orange Money Agent Sent to Court for L$76K

Headquarters of the LNP in Monrovia. 

The Crime Services Department of the Liberia National Police, Ganta Detail, has charged 30-year-old Augustine Luogon, an Orange money agent, with theft and two others who are yet to be identified with criminal facilitation, after allegedly withdrawing about L$76,000 from an Orange customer account.

According to the CSD investigation, on September 11, 2021, one Yeaway B. Tiabole filed a complaint, alleging that at about 07:30 local time, he went to Augustine G. Luogon’s mobile money booth to cash out L$20,000 from his phone, which contained over L$76,000.

He said he first decided to cash out L$20,000, but when the Orange Money agent told him to pay L$1,000 as the transaction fee, he decided to withdraw the L$ 76,000. 

However, the phone was returned to him by the agent, telling him that only L$850 was in his Orange money account. The complainant alleged that when the phone was returned, the name Jeremiah appeared on the screen, as well as Augustine Luogon. He said, when he asked the Orange Money agent how both the names, Jeremiah and Augustine Luogon, could appear on his screen, the agent again requested the phone and deleted those names.

Defendant Augustine G. Luogon denied all allegations and told the police that when the fellow went to his booth, he first told him to cash out L$20,000, but when he told him the fee of L$1,000, he decided to withdraw  L$76,000 and he told him that he only has L$850 in his Orange Money account.

Police investigation confirmed that an act of theft was allegedly committed by Augustine, because Augustine's name appeared on his phone screen during the Orange Money transaction, while the phone was still in the hand of the accused.

The police also alleged that the defender again requested the phone after the complainant asked who Augustine was and he mysteriously deleted the message.

The CSD requested the intervention of the Ganta Magisterial Court and the City Solicitor requested that Orange Liberia provide information regarding the Orange Money transaction that took place between their agent and the customer within the given date and time.

Based on the request, which was made on October 12, 2021, Orange Liberia released the transaction information, alleging that the amount was criminally transferred to Jeremiah Wilson, a resident of Bensonville within the same timeframe. 

The information provided by Orange Liberia also confirmed that Jeremiah also transferred the said amount to one Susan Parlue within the same period; between 7:55 - 7:56 on the same day. 

Orange Liberia also informed the police in their communication that the transfer was in four amounts in the same day, L$20,000 was sent three times and the balance of L$16,000 was sent at last between 07:55-07:56 on September 11, 2021, to Susan Parlue. However, Police have charged Augustine G. Luogon with theft, while Jeremiah Wilson and Susan Parlue,  were also charged with criminal facilitation.

They have been charged in absence after police made frantic efforts to get them via their mobile numbers.

Meanwhile, Augustine G. Luogon was on Monday, November 22, 2021, sent to the Ganta Magisterial Court for trial, while suspects Wilson and Parlue remain at large.  The Daily Observer managed to visit the Augustin Luogon boot on the main road from the police station, adjacent to the Total Gas Station. He maintained his denial, saying that he doesn't even know the two persons in question.