Officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) have arrested two Liberians identified as S. Govina Lacto and Alex Toh with seven hundred thousand United States Dollars in counterfeit notes in Sinkor, Monrovia.
At a press conference at the headquarters of LNP in Monrovia, Police Director Chris Massaquoi explained that following a tip off on Saturday, July 4, officers of the Crime Service Division identified and arrested the two individuals believed to be the ring leaders in a syndicate running counterfeit operations in the country.
“Upon their arrest, police conducted a search of their vehicle and found a black case containing counterfeit notes and five different GSM SIM Cards and three cell phones. These are the people who are duping innocent victims of their legitimate cash and properties,” he noted.
He said police investigators in the process of keeping the surveillance spotted the culprits leaving the 9th Street on board a Nissan vehicle and immediately followed them.
Govina Lacto, 48, is a resident of Nickey Town in Paynesville.
The LNP boss revealed that Mr. Lacto has been a con-artist since the 90s, which he (Lacto) admitted to investigators.
“He and his men, to be identified, operate a network through which they usually persuade their victims to believe that Equatorial Palm Oil Liberia, Sime Darby and other institutions are in search of anti-bug, chlorine and other chemicals to buy,” he said.
Director Massaquoi further explained that, “They create amongst themselves local dealers, sales agents as well as chemists in order to carry out their criminal activities and Mr. Lacto was arrested several times during the regime of former President, Charles Taylor.”
Alex Toh, 46 is a resident of Chocolate City in Gardnersville, and he has been involved in the counterfeiting business.
He said Toh has also been arrested by police officers on several occasions.
“Mr. Toh was last arrested in 2014 when he and others defrauded the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) through check encashment,” Director Massaquoi added.
He said the police will remain vigilant in providing security to the people of Liberia and encourage the general public to be on the lookout for such individuals in their respective communities.
He used the occasion to inform business institutions, including banks, to be on the alert on US counterfeit notes.
According to him, the money will be turned over to the Central Bank of Liberia for further verification.