Court Charges MLME’s Procurement Officer, Others for Theft

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Roland A. Mornojua, the procurement officer of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME), and Otis Smith were on Friday forwarded to the Monrovia City Court on multiple charges amounting to US$135,750.

Mornojua and Smith were charged with criminal conspiracy and facilitation for impersonating MLME personnel. Police also charged the accused with theft of property.

Meanwhile, three of the five defendants who remained at-large were also charged with similar crimes in absentia.

Mornojua and Smith were, however, remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP) on Friday when their legal counsels failed to secure a bail bond for their immediate release.

According to police records, the two were arrested based on a complaint filed by MLME Deputy Minister Jenkins O. Atuanya.

Mornojua is alleged to have issued the ministry identification cards to defendant Smith and three others who used their respective ID cards to pose as employees of the ministry and en-cash several checks.

Checks bearing series numbers 00000577, 00000518, 00000519 and 00000578 in the amount of US$118,250 intended for the Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEP) were allegedly en-cashed by the defendants, police said in the document.

That incident occurred between Septembers 13 and October 25 this year.

It is reported that defendant Smith and his accomplices who are escaping justice presented check number 00000518 in the amount of US$17,500 to RAJ Enterprise Business Center in Monrovia and made away with Lone Star GSM’s scratch cards.

Checks number 00000577 valued at US$15,500; 00000578 in the amount of US$6,300; and 00000519 valued as US$78,950, totaling US$100,750, were subsequently intercepted by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and Office Ideal Stationary Store in Monrovia, the document also claimed.

The ministry discovered the syndicate when they arrested defendant Smith on October 25 with a ministry ID card bearing his photo and the name Oliver King.

Police claimed that Mornojua was also arrested when Smith gave him up as the one who issued the checks and the ministry ID cards.

The case continues.

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