5 Arrested for US$1.7M Revenue Fraud

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Five persons, including a senior staff at the Ministry of Transport (MOT), were last Friday arrested for allegedly cloning official receipts of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) which they gave to business people to obtain tax clearance certificates from the agency.
They were picked up following a month long investigation of taxpayers’ documents by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and those of the LRA.
Suspect Kpanah Allen of the MOT and her alleged collaborators, including Charles Fayomboh and three other persons, identified as Parker, Dentex and Konah, have been formally charged and forwarded to the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice for prosecution.
They are charged with multiple crimes, which include economic sabotage, forgery, criminal conspiracy and facilitation and counterfeiting.
According to court documents, “on several occasions, up to September 3, the defendants being there and then with criminal and wicked intent, purposely connived and conspired and with the intent to deprive the government of its revenue did prepare and cause to issue and circulate fake revenue receipts.”
The documents claimed that the defendants altered genuine revenue receipts, thereby collecting needed revenue of government in the amount of US$1.7 million.
Addressing journalists at the LRA head offices in Paynesville yesterday, the agency lead counsel, Max Duncan, claimed that the act of the defendants cost government US$1.7 million in revenues.
He alleged that suspect Allen took advantage of the situation at the MOT where people were in queue to obtain tax clearance certificates for their vehicles and “cornered some of them, collected their money and cloned (duplicate) our official receipts prepared by the co-defendants and gave them to their clients to obtain their documents.”
Attorney Duncan said the cartel duplicated the receipts expertly that they looked very much the same as official receipts, including heads of the LRA signatures.
“All the inputs in the receipts looked genuine including signature, which of course is carved; each receipt has a number and for each payment that carried the name of the payer, tax identification number and amount is contained,” the LRA lawyer explained.
According to him, they were pursuing four other co-defendants and named three as Theo Williams, William Kollie and Peter Weah, who he said holds a rank of a captain in the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).
He further alleged that Captain Weah was the ringleader of the receipts syndicate.
“Weah is on the run and we are going to do everything possible to bring him and the other people to justice,” Duncan vowed.
“They robbed government of millions of United States Dollars, and we will make sure that we prosecute them, even if it will cause us to go before the Supreme Court, we are ready to do so,” he maintained.
He did not give the name of the businesses involved in the deal.

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  1. If the Liberian Government don’t prosecute criminals and give them long term in jail, people will continue to commit the crime of economic sabotage in our country. How can group of citizens connived to steal millions of dollars by cloning receipts to defraud their government. If investigated and found guilty, lock them up and throw the key in the Du River.

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