A senior staff at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), speaking under conditions of anonymity, on Thursday, January 19, contradicted police accounts that appear to implicate James Larmin Korboi, a Sierra Leonean national, in an attempt to withdraw US$32,835,654.14 from the account of the Manna World Holding Trust Fund to Liberia, believed to have been the custodian of the country’s road construction fund.
The source said money for the funding of road construction is currently being managed by the National Road Project Office at the Ministry, contrary to Police accounts that it is being kept at the Manna World Holding Trust.
The source did not say how much was in the account, but said, “we are not aware of Liberia construction funds being kept at the Manna World Holding Trust, because it was far from the truth.”
A police charge sheet obtained from the Monrovia City Court about the Trust Fund, claimed that the Fund had over US$5.914 billion in its account for the country’s road construction and development initiatives.
It was out of that amount of money that Korboi allegedly conspired with several other defendants to dupe the government of amounting to US$32,835,654.14. The document failed to give further details and the ownership of Manna World Holding Trust.
However, Manna World Holding Trust is said to be an umbrella organization holding many other historic and heritage and assets-backed trusts.
The Trust is said to be a holding company with over 4,500 accounts in it, most of which belong to the actual living people and groups of people and entire countries.
“In fact, the argument can be made (and I make it) that all the holdings in the Trust are stolen goods from the dead and the living, too.
“Those being responsible for the existence of The Trust reportedly stole what were allotted to them,” according to a David Robinson and Anna von Reitz post on February 16, 2018.
Police arrested Korboi on December 5, 2018 in the office of Minister Samuel Tweah, where he had been holding a series of confidential discussions with authorities of both the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs (MSPA), that led to his alleged attempt to withdraw US$32,835,654.14 from the account of the Manna World Holding Trust Fund.
Based on that accusation, Korboi was charged by the police for criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation, impersonation of officials, forgery and attempted theft of property and was subsequently forwarded to the Monrovia City Court for prosecution. Though the crimes qualified him for bail, he was remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison where he is currently starting a new life, because he could not file the required bond.
When contacted at his Temple of Justice office, Magistrate Kennedy Peabody, who is presiding over the matter, said since the matter was first assigned before the Court on December 17, 2018, the prosecutors are yet to express any readiness about the commencement of the case.
“I do not have any record to show that prosecutors had any returns to make assignment about the matter,” Peabody said, “I authorized the preparation of the commitment for Korboi’s imprisonment, but the government has not appeared for the case.”
Details from the court’s record said Korboi had earlier introduced himself to senior staffs of both ministries as an executive member of Maga Strategic Partners Limited, a construction company.
Mega Strategic Partners Ltd is said to be wholly owned by a Ghanaian private limited liability company, established in 2015.
It is also an international company providing support and services to various institutions, according to the document.
The record further said Korboi had come to the country with an unspecified amount of money to help support President George Weah’s Pro-poor Agenda, specifically in the areas of road construction and other development initiatives.
It was due to an alleged introduction of his company’s intent to invest in the country that afforded him the opportunity to hold discussions with Finance Minister Tweah.
The record claimed that, out of deception, Korboi allegedly manipulated the system through electronic means, and requested 13 transactions of transfer amounting to US$32,835,654.14 from several accounts belonging to the government, some of which were placed in local banking institutions outside of the capital.
“The defendant criminally attempted to deprive the country of that money, but was aborted,” the Court record noted, adding that it was the first attempt by Korboi to allegedly withdraw from the Road Construction Trust Fund.