A side-splitting outburst of laughter, hugging and back slapping nearly disrupted normal activities at Monrovia City Court, Temple of Justice yesterday, when authorities of the Liberia National Police (LNP) presented counterfeit L$100 banknotes amounting to L$200,000, to the court.
But what was amazing about the LNP’s presentation was that, after thorough counting of the money, the amount turned out to be L$257,600 – well over L$50,000 more than what was originally reported.
“How the counterfeited money increased remains a mystery,” a female court staff remarked amidst the discovery.
The L$200,000 counterfeit banknotes were reportedly seized from Onyeka F. Nnamena, a Nigerian national, on July 27 at the Bo-Waterside entry point in Grand Cape Mount County, the police said.
According to Police, the money was confiscated from defendant Nnameni by joint security assigned at Bo-Waterside; an entry point between Liberia and Sierra Leone in Western Liberia.
It all started yesterday after the L$200,000 and defendant Nnameni, along with a police investigative charge sheet containing the defendant’s admission to committing the crime of smuggling, were presented to Magistrate Kennedy Peabody for as part of government evidence against the Nigerian.
Interestingly, after presenting the L$200,000 to the court, Magistrate Peabody requested police officers assigned at his court to publicly counter check the amount police authorities presented to the court.
It was during the rechecking process that the police officers discovered that the money was L$257,600, instead of the L$200,000 as was earlier reported to Magistrate Peabody.
Peabody did not say a word concerning the police report, but to only request the officers to record the content and gave the money back to the court sheriff.
However, defendant Nnameni was remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison to await trial.
Since his charges, including forgery, counterfeiting, and facilitation of counterfeiting, economic sabotage and money laundering are qualified for bail; his legal team had lobbied to secure his bail.
Further in the investigation, police alleged that Nnameni arrived from the Sierra Leone with the suspected counterfeit money.
He was travelling with a television placed in a red and white cartoon, according to the document.
It was during inspection of the cartoon they realized that defendant Nnameni criminally concealed within the television counterfeit banknotes amounting to L$200,000 in the denomination of hundred dollar bills, in four assorted serial numbers, EE-7250062, EE-7101800, EE-2401012 and EE-7414676.
Further in their investigation, police claimed that forensic analysis was conducted on the money by using “Late 825 high velocity light” also known as (HV-Light) tests.
They said the test proved that all of the L$200,000 lacked security features including micro-printing, color-shifting ink, etc.
The court document alleged that it was based upon the discovery that police arrested defendant Nnameni and later transferred him to National Police headquarters in Monrovia for interrogation.
They claimed that during the interrogation, Nnameni admitted to the counterfeiting allegation.