Defense Ministry Loses US$8,500 to Fraud

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Defense Minister Brownie Jeffery Samukai, JrFINAL..jpg

Four civilian employees of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD) that reportedly defrauded the ministry of over US$8.5K have been suspended for “time indefinite,” the Ministry has confirmed.

The MOD said in a statement that to contain further suspected financial impropriety the Ministry decided to put the four civilian employees on a ‘time indefinite’ suspension.

MOD said the alleged fraud was discovered following a joint investigation conducted by the Internal Audit Section and the Department of Defense Intelligence.

Although, Assistant Defense Minister for Public Affairs, David K. Dahn did not name those allegedly connected to the act. He however told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that the ministry’s action was in keeping with internal policy.

He said those allegedly connected to the crime were confronted with the facts, and it was established that there were salary discrepancies in the accounts of those in the wrong who have already been suspended.

The individuals, the MOD statement said, are all from the Comptroller’s office. They were identified as two accountants, the Senior Administrative officer for Budget and Fiscal Accounting, and the Resource Management Accountant.

The statement said that during preliminary investigations, “It was established through verbal testimonies and documentary evidence that those individuals were guilty of lack of judgment and malfeasance resulting in payroll piling, thereby defrauding the MOD of US$8,547.96.”

Meanwhile, the MOD said it has strengthened its internal system of control in payroll handling.

Accordingly, under the reinforced measures, all payrolls are encrypted and the password is usable once a month from the MOD and accessible only by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and Ecobank Liberia Limited, the depository bank.

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