Better Future Foundation (BFF) is pleased about the exoneration of five Korean businessmen arrested in Monrovia in July, for alleged money laundering, counterfeiting, and conspiracy to defraud charges levied against them by some agents of the National Security Agency (NSA.)
The Korean nationals, Jung Dal Park, Chae Dal Byoung, Chol Jung Woo, Cha Kwang Woon and Aleck Gold, who were arrested by NSA agents, have been discharged of the allegations according to the report of a Special Independent Investigation Committee (SIIC) constituted by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The BFF says the constitution of the SIIC by Pres. Sirleaf and its subsequent report was vital to “restoring and reassuring investors’ protection, trust and confidence in the Liberia‘s justice system.”
In a release issued in Monrovia over the weekend, BFF also expressed satisfaction with the recommendation of the SIIC that the Liberian Government refund the full amount seized from the Korean businessmen by the NSA operatives.
BFF, a nonprofit and civil society organization, has been involved with mediation efforts aimed at amicably resolving the matter concerning the seizure of US$284, 000 from the five Korean businessmen allegedly by the NSA.
The SIIC, chaired by the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Liberia (UL), Cllr. David A.B. Jallah, was appointed by President Sirleaf with the mandate to investigate the accusations against the five Korean nationals, a Lebanese and the National Security Agency (NSA).
As a part of its report, the SIIC recommended to President Johnson-Sirleaf that appropriate administrative actions be taken against five NSA operatives and two of their co-conspirators who do not work for the NSA but were directly involved with the arrest of the Korean nationals.
The Committee further recommended that the five agents be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), “for prosecution in order to clear the name and image of the NSA.”
BFF, in its release, commended President Sirleaf for sending the Committee’s report to the Ministry of Justice for speedy implementation.
According to the statement, BFF president Augustine Arkoi had said repeatedly that prompt mitigation of the matter by the Government of Liberia “would further contribute to enhancing the people-to-people diplomacy and social entrepreneurial relations involving Liberian and Korean nationals, retaining investors’ confidence and assuring the predictability of doing business in Liberia.”
Arkoi further stated that non-judicial resolution of the matter would also go a long way to bolstering not only the goodwill of Korean nationals but also other international investors, who are looking for opportunities to do business in various spheres of the Liberian economy.
BFF, in its communication reiterated that without fast-tracking the recovery of the amount and other personal belongings taken from the Korean businessmen by the NSA agents, the image of Liberia risked being further tainted.
For nearly two decades, BFF has been in the vanguard promoting Liberia and Korea relations in the areas of education, capacity building, international volunteerism, as well as promotion of socioeconomic, cultural understanding and cooperation, the press release stated.