CBL Denies Involvement in Missing Money

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Central Bank of Liberia

— Says it is not a signatory to the procedural channels regarding the movement of government revenue from commercial banks account to the consolidated revenue account

Authority of the Central Bank of Liberia has denied involvement in the disappearing of US$23 million and L$2 billion of taxpayer money meant for the consolidated revenue account at the bank.

According to the CBL, it is not a signatory to the procedural channels regarding the movement of government revenue from commercial bank accounts to the consolidated revenue account, “but only implements the movement of funds from the accounts based on a directive from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).”

“All taxes mobilized by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) are paid into the transitory accounts at commercial banks consistent with the Public Financial Management (PFM) Law, and eventually moved into the government’s consolidated account held at the CBL, exclusively under the transparent and accountable mandate of the MFDP and LRA,” the CBL said in a press statement.

Transitory accounts, the CBL said, are issues for LRA and commercial banks who at the end of every reconciliatory period carry on a routine validation among themselves, excluding the CBL, to confirm that all funds collected and placed in the transitory accounts are appropriately handled in line with policy.

“The CBL neither participates in the setting of revenue target nor has any jurisdiction or knowledge about the actual amount received by commercial banks prior to any movement of funds into GOL’s accounts.”

The transitory account, through which commercial banks receive inland taxes and customs duties for the government, was recently audited by the LRA, which finds that millions of millions of the United States and Liberia dollars paid as taxes have not been reflecting in the Consolidated General Revenue Account at the CBL.

It uncovered that the corrupt practice of hidden or stealing money belonging to the government consolidated account began under the administration of President George Weah’s predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In 2017, before leaving office, the CBL administration under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, according to the audit report, did not capture revenue transactions in the amount of US$2,043,813.75 and L$327,130,712.16 in its bank swift confirmation reports.

“Revenue transactions amounting to US$2,043,813.75 and LD$327,130,712.16 on commercial banks’ statements were not captured in the 2017 CBL swift confirmation reports and therefore not reflected in GOL’s CGRA,” the LRA report said.

But the alleged stealing did not stop there as the amount not deposited in the government consolidated account drastically increased in 2018 to US$8,357,651.67 and L$1,131,749,625.77, with the same story.

Commercial Banks actually do not transact their customers’ money without their customers’ expressed written consent. Therefore, according to a banking professional who spoke to the Daily Observer off-the-record, the matter is laid squarely at the feet of those who are signatories to the government’s bank accounts. Following the CBL’s response, the commercial banks have meanwhile declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) received the lion share of the amount collected, in the amount of US$3,834,053.94 and L$669,288,492.79.

LBDI, according to the report, was followed by Internaitonal Bank Liberia Ltd. (IB) at US$1,809,208.50 and Ecobank Liberia at L$187,290,209.08.

In 2019, LBDI again topped the list of banking institutions as a repository of taxes collected, pending onward movement to the Consolidated General Revenue Account at the CBL. According to a source, there were more tax deposits into GOL accounts at LBDI there because LBDI has more branches across the country than any other commercial bank.

Below is the audit report findings on the GOL’s CGRA.

                             2017

NoBanksUSDLD
1International Bank (IB)111,343.48 45,088,347.48
2Ecobank Liberia243,726.30168,146,745.67
3Access Bank Liberia86,796.955,468,139.16
4Global Bank Liberia29,842.64 44,864.53
5GT Bank Liberia14,150.00 25,410,232.00
6LBDI1,549,070.8039,028,964.96
 United Bank of Africa8,883.5843,943,418.36 
TOTAL 2,043,813.75   327,130,712.16

                             2018

NoBanksUSDLD
1International Bank (IB)1,809,208.50137,742,128.40
2Ecobank Liberia1,260,899.39187,290,209.08
3 Access Bank Liberia2,837.914,629,059.93
4Global Bank Liberia140,550.195,334,015.81
5GT Bank Liberia71,749.5357,456,426.40
6LBDI3,834,053.94 669,288,492.79
7United Bank of Africa (UBA)726,387.7269,878,733.36
 GN Bank Liberia511,964.49130,560.00
Total US$8,357,651.67L$1,131,749,625.77

                         2019

NOBanksUSDL$
 International Bank (IB)1,450,779.8257,142,608.22
 Ecobank Liberia500,000209,998,000
 Access Bank Liberia94,683.2822,456,533.78
 Global Bank Liberia952,261.809,876,107.22
 GT Bank Liberia316,864.239,381,984.26
 LBDI10,480,607.02527,439,022.81
 Afriland Bank Liberia204,692.49 7,935,973.11
 United Bank of Africa (UBA)170,726.51 30,788,156.66
 GN Bank Liberia530,086.5512,759,120.01
Total 14,700,701.70887,777,506.07

The audit, according to the LRA was intended to ascertain the accuracy, completeness, reliability, and validity of the amount of taxes commercial banks collected and remitted to GOL’s CGRA at the CBL were “accurately and completely reflects the true and fair amount of taxes collected by the commercial banks for the period under audit.”

“The Central Bank of Liberia and commercial banks need to provide explanations for these irregularities (amounts reflected on commercial banks’ statements as remittances to GOL’s Consolidated Revenue Account at CBL but not reflected in CBL’s Swift Confirmation Reports and GOL’s CGRA) for purposes of accurately, completely and reliably accounting for taxes collected on behalf of Government of Liberia in accordance with the memorandum of understanding,” the report said.

However, the CBL reiterates that it has no statutory control over the operational functioning of GOL’s transitory accounts at the commercial banks, nor does it have any control over the movement of cash from the Consolidated Account of the Government unless by a formalized instruction from MFDP.

“CBL reassures the public of its full commitment to transparency in the implementation of monetary policy operations to strengthen confidence. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act the CBL remains available in providing necessary clarifications and accurate information on issues of concern to its operations,” the release said.

The accounts in question came as a result of an MFDP Administrative Regulation NO. PFMA-01/MOF/R/02 2010, directing that all funds collected through the Transitory Revenue Accounts on a certain business day shall be swept into the General Revenue Account at the CBL by the commercial bank on the “next clearing day” by check, debit instruction or by electronic payments.

According to the MFDP regulation, the sweep shall cover deposits made for the certain business day(s) until the next “clearing day”. The commercial bank may also credit the offshore account of the CBL in settlement of the amounts due provided that all current balances at the CBL are insufficient to settle amounts due. The swift acknowledgment of the transfer on the stipulated sweep shall be required. For electronic transfers, all transfer related charges shall be on account of the commercial banks.

It also stated that if any Commercial Bank fails to submit the agreed report on the first clearing day of the week, and that failure continues for forty-eight hours after the report due date, the defaulting Commercial Bank shall pay a penalty of L$50,000 for each day of default starting from the original due date. Such amount shall be debited to the Commercial Bank’s current account by the CBL upon written notification by the MOF and shall be credited to the General Revenue Account.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! These criminal activities continues unabated for the past three years till present! No wonder why those tracking these criminal activities were eliminated to hide the secret stealing by officials of this regime. Now that the truths are revealed, Liberians need to rise up and challenge their lawmakers to act now.

    Weah and his band of criminals must be investigated and prosecuted for their massive stealing of the people’s money. We need to hold our so-called elected officials-Representatives and Senators accountable to up-hold and implement the organic laws of the Nation. Weah must be impeached now.

  2. ASSUMING CBL IS INVOLVED IN THE MONEY MISSING SAGA, THEN WE SHOULD BE HAPPY AS LIBERIANS BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY SOME FELLOW LIBERIANS LUCK. WE ALL KNOW RAMPANT CORRUPTION AND VICIOUS KILLING OF HIGH PROFILE LIBERIANS ARE NOT CRIMES AT ALL IN LIBERIA. HISTORY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. ONLY YOU CONSISTENT FOOLS WILL THINK THESE RUTHLESS ACTIVITIES ARE CRIMES IN LIBERIA. THIS IS SWEET LIBERIA MY PEOPLE.

    (WATCH)

  3. So what’s the fuss over ? The citizens voted for VP Joe(no, not the other Joe who allegedly won the US Presidency)but the other Joe who the people’s know best that was to follow the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf political legacy in corruption.
    Then it turned out, it was Mr. Clean( not the white bald head Mr. Clean) but the black head bald , George himself. Chosen by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf herself to continue in her footsteps of political and financial corruption. Since that time, 2017 Ellen left, George took over from there and money has been getting missing like it was done when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was there. Are they mother and son, or partners in crimes ? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Oh Well , George called her ma ma Ellen. So it used to be like Father like Son. But now it is like Mother Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Son George in criminal activities. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    Get a load of that. Mother and Son In Criminal Activities. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    But when Representatives Kolubah says these things as facts, the citizens that refused to accept VP Joe( no, not that white Joe ) but the black sleeping eyes Joe that they refused to accept, they say Representative Kolubah is insulting the Presidency of George, and who has his pockets full of the same citizens’ money. Oops there is! Oops there is ! Oops there is! Oops there is ! Oops there is! Oops there is !
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !
    So what is the fuss over this time ? Some officials stole the money AGAIN ? Oh Well. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! Someone in the regime stole their money again. Oh Well.

  4. Dear Folks,

    This statement below implies that CBL should provide documentations (I.e., documents requesting CBL to deposit monies and documents requesting CBL to move monies) to explain its activities concerning the money saga. This is because CBL is the official custodian of all monies owned by the government of Liberia. Therefore, any depositor, is required to attach documents explaining the amount to be deposited at CBL. Equally too, an authority and/or an institution should send documents to CBL requesting the movement of monies deposited at CBL.

    The two separate documents (I. E., request to deposit the monies and the request to move the monies) should be recorded at CBL and kept at CBL.

    The Daily Observer reporter stated, “According to the CBL, it is not a signatory to the procedural channels regarding the movement of government revenue from commercial bank accounts to the consolidated revenue account, “but only implements the movement of funds from the accounts based on a directive from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).”

    Thanks
    J Yanqui Zaza

  5. WOW!! As the citizens of Liberia continue to suffer from bad roads network and lack of hospitals, the government officials are stealing billions of dollars for themselves. I wonder how much money these people need before they think about the country. So sad and uncomfortable that we’re in this situation.

  6. To cut the long story short, why not the governor just perfect a procedure whereby the movement of all government monies from the commercial banks is deposited in George Weah’s private mansions?

    No matter when, where, or how the transactions are done, and no matter what exclusive methods are deployed to conceal the massive corruption and huge misappropriation of government’s funds happening behind closed doors, and in Weah’s closes circles, the fact has become all too clear to the public, Weah is not about transparency and good governance.

    And now that the auditors, who were performing their duties with due diligence and discernment are out of the way, all other revenue receiving points like the ports, the Ministry of Finance, the Liberian Revenue Agency, and so forth could just direct all daily receipts to the Weah’s special accounts in one of his many mansions thus eliminating all middle transactions.

    Moreover, the governor could now relocate the residency of CBL in one of his condos so that he becomes more accessible to the president and make the planning, implementation, and coordination of the president’s dubious financial acts harder to detect.

    Didn’t this event occur during the Charles Taylor’s administration? Yes, it did. His home became the national bank of Liberia, which is one of the reasons he was regarded as one of Africa’s richest rebels.

    Lest Liberians forget that they owe their lives to the god, Weah, because he played football and became famous! Insofar as he is concerned, that is all he needed to “rule” the country. According to him education did not matter; what mattered the most and still matters the most is being perfect in the fine arts of committing high state crimes against the people. This is the ideal virtue for serving in his government.

    So, there’s the ordeal Liberians must put-up with?

  7. It is risky to know all of this is happening in Liberia and be free to live. To have access to such damning info is to be on a path to destruction and elimination.
    See something, say nothing. See and know a lot, you are finished. Those who did not kill with the guns during the war years, are now catching up by killing their fellow citizenships mafia-style!
    But to everything, there is a season.

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