Missing Money: Gov’t Seeks Intervention of FBI, U.S. Treasury Dept., IMF

20
5555
( L-R) Police Director Patrick Sudue is responsible for security coordination, FBI Director Chris Wray is expected to provide agents to help Liberia recover L$16 billion missing from Freeport of Monrovia and Finance Minister Samuel Tweah provides oversight for gov't money.

to assist in the most ’embarrassment’ episode of the century

The serious nature of the alleged missing containers containing billions of Liberian dollars (L$16 billion and not US$16 billion), has become a severe embarrassment, with the Liberian government seeking help from the United States and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government has sent a request to the United States for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which functions as a domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, and its principal federal law enforcement agency that operates under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice.

The Liberian government also seeks the support of the United States Treasury Department that manages Federal finances by collecting taxes and paying bills and by managing currency, government accounts, and public debt. The Department of the Treasury also enforces finance and tax laws.

And the last request went to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF is based in Washington, D.C., and currently consists of 189 member countries, each of whom has representation on the IMF’s executive board in proportion to its financial importance so that the most powerful countries in the global economy can have the most voting power.

The IMF’s website describes its mission as “to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”

The IMF’s primary methods for achieving these goals are monitoring capacity building and lending.

The requests to the three international bodies come in the wake of the Liberian security sector or joint security’s inability to completely get the job done since the crime took place under their very noses, and they could do nothing about it.

A press release from the government said that the investigation, which is currently ongoing, is to ensure adequate accountability for all flow of monies printed and brought into the country between 2016 and 2018.

It said the funding of the investigation will be critical to the formulation and implementation of a credible and robust monetary and macroeconomic policy for the future.

According to the press release, issued on September 19, the Liberian government announced the addition of the following institutions to the investigation team.

They are the National Bar Association (NBA), the National Civil Society Organization, (NCSO) the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), the Association of Liberia Certified Public Accountants, the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL).

However, while the government’s current effort to uncover those responsible for one of the most serious and embarrassing situations this country has experienced in a long time, many Liberians have expressed shock as to how such an ugly situation could happen and without any of the security sectors being aware of it.

“It shows an overwhelming incompetence of our country’s security forces,” said a distraught young woman, interviewed for this story. “Since we are calling on the United States and the IMF to come to help us, it means there are many things that we need them to do for us. This is a shame.”

A student from the United Methodist University (UMU), who asked not to be identified, said: “From my studies of governments, I know whenever a large amount of money is brought into the country, there are several actors in involved. This would include the Liberia National Police (LNP); the National Port Authority (NPA) that secured the money on its premises; the Central Bank of Liberia that is the owner of the money; the Liberia Revenue Authority which, for tax purposes, will send men to monitor what is ongoing, among others.

The question is: where were agents of these actors and why are they not talking? Don’t they have records of their own daily activities in their offices? How can we run a country with such lack of interest?”

Another student said she was aware that President George Weah’s transition team held a series of meeting with outgoing President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s team when it became clear early 2017 that Mr. Weah had won the presidency hands down.

“Is anybody saying Madam Sirleaf’s team did not share the information of the container’s presence at the Freeport of Monrovia? Are you kidding me?” the student wondered.

Some Liberians see the government’s desperate attempt to get help from outside the country as an evidence of lack of political commitment to a country that has been pummeled to the ground, her citizens having paid lip-service to 171 years of the country’s survival and existence.  It is, therefore, not strange that many Liberians believe that God in his infinite wisdom created three types of human beings in the world: the white man, the black man, and the Liberian man.

“This is true,” said a taxi driver yesterday afternoon in Monrovia, “the things that happen here in Liberia don’t happen anywhere else.”

20 COMMENTS

  1. The President of the United States of America should not allow his nation’s FBI to interfere into the internal security of this nation. The Republic of Liberia. Otherwise I would suspect that there are some American officials who constantly get involved in corruption activities in our nation to bring again security disunity in Liberia. One of the causes of our past civil war. Security checking on Security. If everyone becomes American, who will be Liberian? Liberia should keep its own currency to help avoid poverty and pay debts. We can ourselves find out who among us are involved in this container miscalculation. We have the natural security resources to purchase our own finished security equipment even from any nation. Even Russia, England, France, China, or U.S.A… Yet we have no need at this time to ask for assistance. The issue is simple. If those who stole the money are found and do not want to admit the truth, we have our court system to decide criminal just as election cases that put them to power. If the United States does not encourage crisis in Liberia, why should the U.S. offer their domestic spy group to impose their style on ours? Show me how a foreign security can help in cassava leaf, fufu, or palm butter spicy matters. Like shit hole matters from pieces of shits? Gone to silence. Do not chat in my box.Tell the Liberian people.

  2. Liberians are Americans oriented and on the other hand distrust or mistrust is the subject of the day among Liberians. No Liberian security (no matter how best they seem to be) report will be accepted by Liberians dujring time since they trust their own. I therefore agree with the government of Liberia to bring in experts from America or from any other trusted country that will investigate and come up with a substantial report that will be accepted any all Liberians. We want the accusing fingers to stop pointing at the wrong person(s) and be pointed at the right person that we don’t know yet. LET THE FBI COME and we will know who is the doer

  3. Those that are against the help of other partners, are those that one way of the other benefited from the missing money. We need other experience securities from other countries in this issue, We don’t need the same people that stole our money, investigating their own matter. Because the Liberian people need transparency.

    • No progressive nation can overcome challenges that we faces without adhering to selves inventory, how many time do we have to call on the FBI to solve problem/crimes that we commit against one another? A society that doubt its own ability to decide clear direction, is a recipe for chaos. There are countless of GAC reports on financial misappropriations, embezzlements and grotesque violations of ethical, moral and fundamental observance of structural institutional discipline. Without FPA releasing “Container of Money Missing” story, did any Liberia knew about this story prior to FPA’s information? If nothing is actually missing, why incoherence statement and lack of direction from the government cycle to address this concern? I am not sure that this story has anything to do with being an “Economic Guru, the issue is, an allegation of container of money missing” belong to the government of Liberia, a presumed crime has be committed pending clarification from both previous and current administration. Conduct forensic analysis to establish factual recorded data of money printed, shipment records from both air and sea. Who signed for the consignments and how the items in the container and airport were delivered to CBL.

  4. We the Liberian people are looking up to the Liberian government on this missing money issue, If the government can’t come up with something that will bring satisfaction to we the Liberian people, we will fright for justice, because our children need good care. Are they the only Liberian to benefit all those money? why our leaders are so wicket to us?

  5. This is a great first step in implementing some of the recommendations I made in a prior comment on a related story, on a 9/18/18 article by the Observer. I suggested an Independent Counsel probe on the basis that this matter requires an independent investigation because of the appearance of Conflict of Interests that potentially exist in both the prior and current administrations. I also suggested that the President call the Legislature back into an emergency session to address any the matter and the passage of an Independent Counsel Act to appoint an independent Prosecutor to probe the missing money, and I went in detail on the authorization that should be given this Prosecutor. I expressed concern that there is a money laundering scheme implication involved.

    The FBI, which has a great resource and has expertise in collaborating with international security agencies and financial institutions is capable of tracking down the details on this money and its whereabouts. The U.S Treasurer Department was certainly going to be involved, even if the Liberian government had not asked. Once the FBI was asked to assist, and with the money laundering implication if the funds are determined to have been already disbursed illegally, the Treasurer Department tools would be needed.

    I am still insisting an independent investigation of the matter, separate from investigations the Ministry of Justice and Legislative Branch are or may be conducting.

  6. First of all, the why did the former President exceed the authorized amount by the Legislature? 2ndly, the printers, I am sure provided the sequence numbers of all bills printed for tracing purposes, 3rdly, the timing of the printing is funny. Something thinking legislature should have not allowed, at the end of the tenure one presidency and the start of another (transitional time). The First Branch should be providing oversight until this treasonous case is over. This is a national security issue and you should forego their recess because it is imperative. Over paid non critical thinkers raise to this occasion!

  7. Read or see the uncertainty, unfaithfulness in the U.S. security funding. Worst than ours. What can a German dog see in a cat camp? What are you Liberian or American? One or none. You cannot send a religious leader to teach you how to steal.
    Gone to silence. Do not enter this box. Tell the Liberian people.

  8. Weah is safely driving in his lane. Weah presents himself as being above the bullcrap. The bullcrap in this particular situation is the embezzled money that he vows to uncover. Weah has done something that most sensible people, (count me in) had hoped he would do.

    A call for help………
    The FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation is one of the best in the business. Also by calling on the FBI and the US Treasury Department to help retrieve the missing money, Weah shows his enemies and members of the opposition that he is not involved in the disappearance of the money neither is he to be seen as a milksop.
    So far, one would think that the best thing to do is to desist from rushing to judgement. But that’s not true with some lawmakers. One of them, Yekeh Kolubah, has rushed to judgement and therefore the disinformation campaign is in full swing. Maybe Kolubah knows something that most Liberians do not know. If that’s the case, Kolubah should step foward with his discovery.

  9. Let’s be realistic about this money issue and let’s not focus on the printing aspect and instead, let’s focus on the who, how and when the money went missing. Let say that the money was printed in Charles Taylor administration, but the delivery did not occur until Ellen took over and there is a clear indication here that why the printing of the money occurred under the Sirleaf’s administration, the delivery did not occur until Weah administration. There are few questions that we need to ask president Weah: Why did he suspend the financial laws of Liberia under which the CBL is run and decided to run the CBL by “DECREE” from his office; As a senator, he did not have money to build the houses that he’s building now; where did he out of the blue sky get financial resources from to begin these projects and were his siblings that were hired at the NPA without going through the normal hiring process posted at the NPA to keep track on these containers and finally, where did McGill get the financial backing from as an assurance to the back for his $250,000.00 loan? The CDC administration needs to stop playing games with the people’s money and come clean.

  10. In my last paragraph, It should read ”
    where did McGill get the financial backing from as an assurance to the bank for his $250,000.00 loan? The CDC administration needs to stop playing games with the people’s money and come clean.”

    Reply

  11. This Weah led government have the people money. Where Weah got the money from to start building those three houses. Where the McGill got the financial backing in the amount of $250, 000.00. When the Liberian public was asking the president to declare his asset he was busy building his houses with the Liberian people money. The false information minister getting Ellen Johnson involve

  12. This is crazy! All friendly governments and international partners need to withhold/suspend all financial dealings until a full independent investigation is done, its findings made public as to how much was actually printed, how much went missing and and the culprits be made to feel the full weight of the law. This is a serious litmus test for President Weah’s government, and he needs to take it seriously, if he is to prove that he is actually up to the task of governance.

  13. Greetings,
    I want to recommend president Weah that this matter should not take unserious because the past government officials and the former president Sirleaf are well known as notorious when it comes to embezzlement of country funds. I want to remind you National oil company of Liberia had been closed . Who was a head ? I firmly believed Robert Sirlear. Who is Rob Sirleaf? Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf son. Where is our oil money? Nowhere.
    Please , you( President Weah ) before you receive a creditability from the international community, this matter is lime test for you. Because the international community already aware the past government was hundred percent corrupt. Another money got vanished during the past regime such an EBOLA MONEY. I robust believed an international community still have a record.
    Please invite international judges to investigate this matter thoroughly and find where our money goes.
    Liberian judges also wear the same corrupt jacket with the past officials.
    I am a student of Entomology at Masters degree level in Njala University in republic of Sierra Leone and Liberian by nationality.

  14. Like all commenters, Mr. JT Diggs has a right in the court of public opinion to express himself. He is entitled to his opinions, but not the facts. Therefore, it is understood why Diggs has made all kinds of accusations without any factual evidence.

    First, Diggs recents the idea of requesting help from the FBI to retrieve millions of missing dollars from the Freeport of Monrovia. Second, Diggs believes that the US government is subversive. That’s a serious charge. But where’s the proof?

  15. F. Hney. Your observations are right. One of the problem, as I mentioned in prior comments, is that folks get distracted from the relevant issue under discussion and venture unrelated matters that, while important, are not part of the issue at hand.

    There is clearly a need to have independent authentication of the investigation. I suggested in a prior comment on 9/18/18 the need to have an Independent Counsel probe set up, similar to what usually takes place in the U.S. to prosecute a matter that have the appearance of conflict of interest. This case certainly has the appearances of conflict of interest for both the current and prior administrations and, that’s why I was glad that to read that the FBI and the Treasury Department are involved, or have been invited to investigate the matter. I understand deeply the depth of investigative arsenals available to them globally, including every location that have a U.S. Embassy. They’ll go after every telephone, text messages trail of everyone connected with anything that has to do with timeline, correspondences, calls, emails, texts, documents signed and transportations that deal with the funds, and with the Treasury Department involvement, actions like purchases, expenditures of anyone of such persons would be in scope for surveillance and findings to determine any potential laundering of money locally or internationally.

    I do believe though, that President Weah should address the nation to, firstly abreast the nation of the to set the tone of what the factual investigation is about, whether there is currently an unaccounted for amount as reported, and that He has instructed the MOJ, FIU and NSA to investigate, and the nation has asked the U,S. FBI and Treasury Department to independently investigate or assist with the investigation. Secondly, he can then further assure the nation that there will be an account given of the amount in question based on conclusive evidence from the investigation. He should then leave it there and allow the appropriate Ministries and Agencies responsible for the investigation to provide daily or regular update through a centralized process to avoid the discrepancies in public pronouncements and embarrassing display of naivety by some who have chosen to speak in the absence of any verified evidence in their possession.

  16. Those people should stop playing with the Liberian people money mehn.
    The both governments in question knows about this money. H.E George M Weah and former president Sirleaf knows about everything that is going on. They’re pretending to be honest and they’re not.
    No one should say the current president is not involved, he is involved in this issue 100%.

  17. This is very embarrasion to the liberia government leg by president George Opponge Weah,because this is the first time for huge amount of money to just get missing from the country.Why a country with 4.3million population,then few hand full just want to enjoy and have the majority to suffer on this land?we are appealing to the American government to intervine in to missing money issue before things gos off hand.

Leave a Reply to TD Cancel reply