Gov’t Releases ‘Missing 16 Billion’ Report Today

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Flash back: Protesters in action on September 24 as they demand answers for the alleged mission billions

The government through the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT) has said it will today release the final report surrounding the controversial ‘missing L$16 billion’ a batch of banknotes that was brought into the country shortly before President George Weah assumed office.

The PIT is headed by Alex Cuffy, a brother to Cecelia Cuffy Brown who is also a party to the case. The PIT comprises of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), National Security Agency (NSA), Liberia National Police (LNP), and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information press statement has said its Thursday February 28, 2019, Special Press conference will be addressed by the PIT to provide an executive summary report on the alleged ‘Missing 16 Billion’.

It can be recalled that in a Wednesday, September 19, 2018 interview with VOA Daybreak Africa program, shortly after the media unearthed the ‘missing L$16 billion’, the Minister of Information Lenn Eugene Nagbe declared that  the ‘missing container’ was brought into the country without the knowledge of President Weah.

Minister Nagbe’s account, according to sources, may have prompted the President to launch a speedy investigation into the affair. The investigation team was chaired by the Ministry of Justice and it included the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and members of other security apparatuses. It was also charged to provide  a clear understanding on how much money came into the country, how much was ordered, how much was printed, which country printed the money, and how did it affect the country’s foreign exchange situation.

On October 3, 2018, shortly after the president’s decision, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), which is responsible for monetary policy denied that money went missing from the bank’s vaults and that all money printed and brought into the country between 2016 and 2018 could be accounted for.

Central Bank Governor Nathaniel Patray during a Ministry of Information press conference, held on August 1, 2018 said that the CBL had conducted its internal assessment of monies that were printed and brought into Liberia and none was missing as was being widely speculated.

However, Mr. Cuffy expressed disappointment in the CBL, saying, “If the CBL was going to come out with this report two weeks ago, we would not have been where we are today with the investigation.”

He said the PIT has the capacity to adequately conduct the investigation, although international partners like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) International Monitory Fund (IMF), and others that were previously invited to participate in the investigation were welcomed.

Cuffy said, at the time, “We have the expertise and capacity, but we want the public to have patience, trust and wait for the report from the investigation. We are asking the public to work with us, including the media, to give us any information that could help us get to the bottom of this investigation.”

Those developments, it appeared, moved a local pressure group, the  Concerned Citizens United to Bring Our Money Back (COCUBOMB), to stage a peaceful demonstration through the principal streets of Monrovia demanding the government to account for how billions of Liberian dollars were diverted from the Central Bank of Liberia.

The protesters presented a petitions to the United States government through the embassy near Monrovia, the European Union, African Union and the United Nations. The petitioners bade these major foreign partners to exert pressure on the government of President George Weah to give account for the missing billions.

17 COMMENTS

  1. A wise person once said, “The devil is in the details.” Only time will tell.

    This long awaited investigative report on the mysterious missing money saga has to be nothing short of transparency. It is left with how these foreign investigators skillfully present their findings to an already skeptic Liberian audience: some of whom have no faith in President Weah’s Leadership.

    This skepticism is allegedly due to CDC incompetent government and the corrupt practices (mansions constructed overnight, assets not reported, etc.) being exemplified by their behavior coupled with the unbearable economic hardship in the country.

    The massive demonstrating calling for #BRING BACK OUR MONEY, led to an independent investigative forensic team. I hope the outcome of this report should be respected because it is what the skeptics called for: transparency.

    It is time for the voters who voted for this government to learn from their decisions……they voted for the caliber of people that is now running the country: in the executive as well as the legislative branch.

    Someone once said, “Bad officials are elected by people who vote based on resentment and hate for other qualified candidates even at the detriment for the greater good of the country.”

    After this long awaited investigative report is made public, whether good or bad, whether the same as before, please, my fellow Liberians, mostly the young revolutionaries, another destruction of an already fragile nation is not worth it.

    Remember, “It is easy to destroy a nation than to rebuild a nation.” Let us learn from our tragic history. Let us keep the peace even if it means waiting for another election, or removing our failed leader (s) through constitutional impeachment!!!

    Let us make our new found Democracy work by all means necessary!!! The price of violence is too much to bear my fellow Liberians!!!!

    • Yes, violence and destruction of property is not the way to go. Liberians voted for George Weah and if they don’t have confidence in his leadership anymore they must wait for the next election. They can protest to make their voices heard but it must be peaceful at all times. It is time the Liberian people stand up and demand accountability from their leaders. There is nothing to fear. Most Liberians already know that Weah and some of his officials are building mansions, commercial properties, and buying exotic cars while the people are suffering. They don’t deserve to be leaders of the country.

  2. This day, February 28 is a day of Thanksgiving. The day is very special because the news of missing money to the tone of 16 billion Liberian dollars is about to break. It is important for all Liberians to remain phlegmatic. If we do not remain unflappable, there’ll be trouble in the streets of Liberia. I hope my prediction is wrong.

    Some critics of Weah want us to believe that the missing money is being used by Weah to build rental complexes for his family. There are others who want the Liberian people to know that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her former inner circle employees embezzled the money for themselves. Although some of the accusers of Weah and EJS have done no independent investigation of their own, they knew when, why and how the money was stolen.

    We’ve been confounded for a very long time. Let’s hope that when the report is read, the truth will be told.
    God bless Liberia.

  3. The report is completed, and will be presented today. What is the purpose of all of these guessing about what the report would contain?
    Just wait.

  4. Dikenah,
    It’s not a bad idea for people to express themselves. If people’s expression is not being notoriously, let them express themselves. We just can’t wait to hear the news.

    Hang in there buddy.

  5. The $16 billion allegation is among early disinformation tactics used by detractors to demonize hence cower the new government. Some believe the caper lasted this long, not only due to perception of immediate uncoordinated official narratives, but also as a result of foreign-funded propaganda to not let it die: Bull crap!

    • What exactly could be your meaning of this “Bull crap,” Bishop Baghdad Moses? I read somewhere earlier you and that other Hney acolyte of yours were bemoaning insults in these discussions. That’s the crappy thing (your word) about self-righteous double-barrel mouth rascals like you. You want to censor others and you be the what, exception? Very duplicitous. Sad, sad, sad.

  6. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…..
    So far, two names have been disclosed. Charles Sirleaf and Dorbor Bagba have been caught in the missing 16 billion-dollar deal. Who’s next?

  7. To Whom It May Concern

    If you’re bored, (I know some of you are) you may type “offbeat quiz” in your browser. Or, just google”offbeat quiz”. You will get a slew of quizzes. Take as many quizzes as you can. You will be graded at the end of all tests you’ve completed.

    To those who are hyper, taking a quiz will help you. I cannot guarantee it. You may not pass a 2nd grade quiz.

    I hate to change the topic above. But I think some of you will calm down a little bit after you’ve taken an offbeat quiz.

    • Frederick Hney, in psychology your particular affliction or disorder falls under what is called “projection,” which is “…a theory in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It can take the form of blame shifting.”

      A cursory scan of the posts on this platform, for example, will show you Frederick Simpleton Hney, are the most meddlesome poster on this site, jumping from one topic to the other even with the least of insight in the given area, yet you have the audacity to call other people “bored and hyper?” As Thomas Paine would say of people like you who often renounce reason as guide in these discourses, “It is like administering medicine to the dead.” But we will not be distracted no matter the calculated yetzer-hara.

  8. Liberia is a SOVERIGN NATION as such it must adopt a policy to learn how to solve its own problem. Our problem should be: how to educate our fellow Liberians to have visions that will move Liberia in a positive direction. I may be wrong here, maybe my solution to our problem may be too radical, that most Liberian are not willing to face. I respect the opinion and view expressed by everyone of you on this platform.

    When this 16 billion missing news came out some times ago, I saw Liberians in the sreet marching and calling for the return of the money. The ¨Bring Back Our Money¨ movement was in the street. Don´t get me wrong, it s their right to get in the street to make their voice heard. Their sentiments must be expressed. What I really have problem with, was the marchers were heading to foreign missions, particularly the US Embassy to demand solutoion. How can we leave our national crisis in the hands of foreign nations for solutions. We can ask them to assist us, but not to leaev it with them for solution. It will not work, it has not work in the past, and will not in the feature. People counter my post on this platform, when I said, ¨ẅhy are our citizen going to foreign missions for solution of our problem¨. They told me, ¨Mamadu Bah, we are all memeber of the Intenational Community, we need to share our problem.¨ Ok, has the US ever call us to help solve any of their problems, or the Swedish, Germans. When Jessie Jackson jr. was arrested for financial misappropriation in the US in 2013, did the Federal Government solicited the view of our joint security agency? When Bear Sterns and Enron went ´under water´were we invited to sit on a panel of invistigators?

    It was mentioned that the US said, ¨there is no missing money.¨ Are we willing to take that finding? I hope memebers of the MARCHERS should accept it .We must learn how to trust our institutions. Running to a person everyday and asking his favor does not do us any good. One cannot continue relying on a friend for everything one needs, it makes one very volnurable, as we are.
    Most of us Liberians are mentally LAZY, we depend too much on foreign decisions to make a leap foward. I m not against any country, neither am I anti any nation, however; I m actually feed up with the way we Liberian or Black people, sometimes handle our problem.

    Every great nations on this planet has had difficult time. If we want to be like them, we should be willing to make the sacrifice. Unless otherwise, we will remain the way we are, and continue running to them, and calling ourselves a SOVEREIGN NATION.
    No Vision, no people, no nation. One with no vision…the only thing worse of him/her is being blind; however, we have sight but no vision.

  9. His Excellency, Mr. M. S. Bah,

    A Chinese philosopher once said, “If you teach a man how to fish, he will know how to fish. If he knows how to fish, he will fish and feed his family forever”.

    So in a way, I wholeheartedly agree that Liberians should learn how to solve their own internal problems. Of course, there are some problems that can be solved by us. But for the most part, Liberians have not been taught how to solve their own problems. Especially, governmental and Economic problems. Frankly, it’s a progressive list. We need a genuine involvement by the US, the world’s most developed country, to show us how to solve “some” of our problems and how to “conduct” ourselves governmentally. Theirs is not perfect, but I’ll be darn, it works.

    Example:
    When EJS became president, she worked out a deal with the US government for sales taxes to be collected in Liberia. President Bush gave permission for American experts from the US Treasury Department to go Liberia in order to teach our countrymen how sales taxes could be collected. Guess what? The collection of sales taxes is being done in Monrovia. I am not sure if sales taxes are being collected from Asian and Middle-Eastern business people nationwide. The point is this….we’ve been taught. We will now collect sales taxes forever! And we’ll get better at it as time progresses.

    Another example: parking Tickets
    Parking tickets are collected from motorists in central Monrovia. While in Liberia a few years ago, I went to the grocery store that’s located on Center Street. I parked my car across the street from the grocery store. As soon as I walked out of the store and approached my car, a female ticket agent compelled me to pay a fine for parking. So I asked her why? She said to me, “oh uncle, that’s the law”.I paid my fine and took off.

    Remember, there was no sign that says “no perking”. General Bah, that’s not being done right. Our people need to be shown how to do some things. In the US, there are signs in the downtown areas of all cities. The signs will either say, No Parking Allowed between 8 a.m to 10 a.m. Or sometimes, the sign will say, No U-Turn”. Now if a motorist acts a fool and stupidly parks his or her car where parking is forbidden, a ticket agent will gladly write a ticket.

    Question…….what can we teach the people of America? To parade nude women and spank them? We need to learn. We don’t need to be proud. We can ask just as EJS did. Once we’re expertly taught, we’ll be good at what we’ve been taught forever.

    Good Luck to you in Australia. Hope to see you soon in Liberia.

  10. Thank you Sir (F.S. Hney)
    It is good that you mentioned the Old Chinese Saying: When you teach a man how to fishing, you teach him a life-long surviving skill. This Confucius Adage is spoken by people who are willing to implement it to the letter. Let’s look at this statement for the sake of argument, and try to unpack the idea that goes along with it.
    Fishing for survival purpose requires equipment /accessories: baits, hooks and lines. When a fisher man fishing with those accessories that he doesn’t own, well, tell me if he can live a successful life.
    We have been taught how to fishing, however; the fishing accessories or equipment we are using don’t belong to us, therefore; we have to keep paying for these equipment over and over again.
    I m speaking in parables that has to be broken down a little further. You talk about sale tax and parking lot collection to be instituted in Liberia and other third countries to generate fund to boost our/their revenue. It is a good idea, don’t get me wrong. How many individuals in Liberia own and operate a motor vehicle, or the revenue will only be collected in Monrovia? I m wondering how much of the fiscal budget will be generated from car parking or ticket collection.

    You said that the former US President Bush told EJS to strengthen revenue base by adding sale tax to purchases, it is a good idea. I m not an economic expert, nor do I know anything about marketing. However; I do know that the strength of third world countries economy greatly lies within banking, mining, railway, export of raw materials,etc…non of whom we ever own in our own country. It looks as if the former President was HOODWINKING EJS. How many individuals can add sale tax on goods bought in Liberia. Say that to market women and street vendors, majority of whom cannot read and work out calculation.
    We do not even control the editorial view of some of our news media. Our news media borrowed footage from foreign news organization and relay it as it happen to our public. Given the public some foreign cooperate view of whats happening around the world. As such, some of our people have FED-UP IDEA about world view. For example, when the Sunday Time of London called a particular African Leader a dictator, we all fall in line to call that leader a dictator. Not really examining what makes him to be called a dictator, with hundreds of other worst leaders giving free pass.
    .
    I hope we can keep this conversation going to educate ourselves, as we all learned from one another. I m not against anyone view or opinion. In my view, third world nations are the economic back bone for industrialized nations. We will never make progress if we cannot control the information we consume. Our thoughts and views are borrowed and filtered, and delivered to us by outsiders.
    Information is POWER, it is also WEALTH.
    Give a man a wrong information, you keep him in poverty and control him for ever.

    Your Excellency, on my graduation in 1995 from Wells-Hariston, Madam Ruth Perry spoke to us and said this line, “go out and seek knowledge, Liberia depends on you”.

    From: Mamadu Bah, Uni. of Sydney.

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