‘No L$16B Missing,’ CBL Says

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Gov. Patray flanked by Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf and Dr. Mounir Siaplay, Deputy Governor for Economic Policy

Gov. Patray wants travel restrictions lifted

Amid the controversy surrounding the “missing” L$16 billion, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) yesterday categorically denied that any money has gone missing from the bank’s vaults and has said that all money printed and brought into the country between 2016 and 2018 can be accounted for.

Governor Nathaniel Patray said in a press conference that the CBL has conducted its internal assessment of monies that were printed and brought into Liberia and none is missing as it is being speculated in the country.

Governor Patray, who was accompanied by Dr. Mounir Siaplay, Deputy Governor for Economic Policy and Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf, called on the government to vacate the travel restriction through a writ issued against its officials.

According to Governor Patray, CBL’s record on the total amount of money printed and placed in the reserve vaults of the bank is L$15.5 billion for the period of 2016 to 2018.

“This amount was verified from CBL’s own internal documents and documents received from the Crane Currency of Sweden that printed the money,” Governor Patray said.

“The CBL wants to clarify to the general public and partners in progress that there is no L$16 billion missing, as has been erroneously reported in the media. The CBL has no records showing that the monies printed under its authority have not yet been delivered into its reserve vaults. Record from the Crane Currency of Sweden, which was contracted to print the money, shows that Crane delivered L$15.5 billion through the Freeport and RIA between 2016 and 2018 and that all these monies were logged by the CBL and delivered into the reserve vaults of the CBL,” he said.

Governor Patray said the CBL welcomes the establishment and expansion of the Special Investigative Team constituted by President George Weah, which includes: Civil Society Groups (CSOs), Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia (FIUL), Joint Security Team (Justice Ministry, Liberia National Police and National Security Agency) as well as the Association of Certified Public Accountants, among others.

He said the bank also welcomes the government’s decision to engage international partners such as the Government of the United States, the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations (UN) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“It is our latest information that is based on this engagement, and the government and its partners are in the process of securing the services of a reputable International Forensic Audit Firm to conduct a forensic audit of all flows of printed money between 2016 and 2018,” Patray said.

Mr. Patray said the CBL will cooperate with this investigation and avail all records in its possession to the investigation, stating that, “I confirm that all employees of the CBL are committed to cooperating fully with the investigation and will continue to make themselves available to the Special Investigative Team whenever they are called upon.”

Meanwhile observers here say this clarification by Governor Patray is but a rehash of what President Sirleaf said recently in a BBC interview that the money was printed in Sweden and all was fully accounted for. But officials of this government including Information Minister Eugene Nagbe had disclosed that money was printed in Lebanon and China and brought into the country. He made absolutely no mention of Sweden rather he named instead, China and Lebanon and emphatically stated that money did actually go missing.

A prominent Liberian lawyer and former security official (name withheld) told the Observer that this entire affair smacks of a cover-up intended to shield certain top officials who are believed to have connections to the alleged disappearance of the money. At this stage it remains unclear whether this latest statement statement from the Central Bank means the investigation has come to a close although the Government has announced the expansion of the membership of the investigating team.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! All these hoopla and nothing but fake news? This is telling! The Information Minister, the Finance/Planning Minister, the Justice Minister, the party Chairman and even the gullible president, all came out alarming that a container loaded with ID$16 Billion has gone missing, only to turn out to be lie? This shows how amateurish, uncoordinated, incompetent and inept this government is. This is assurance for a people craving for help to improve their lives. Even the former president, Ellen Sirleaf admonished this government to refrain from propagating such baseless allegations, with the unintended consequence of portraying the country in a negative light to the outside world. But how in hell could a government alleged such untruth without ascertaining the allegation with not only its various organs involved, but especially the very institution that is the subject of the rumors? How silly and laughable could that be? People have to divest themselves from these early pleasure-seeking activities and instead, invest themselves more with learning how government works. That is, if the welfare of the Liberian people factors in at all in this good time that is seemingly the preoccupation. While at it remember the old nursery rhyme or lullaby: Rock-a-bye baby on the tree tops, when the wind blows, the cradle will rock; when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall; down will come baby, cradle and all! Don’t say nobody told you.

  2. Corrected version:

    Wow! All these hoopla and nothing but fake news? This is telling! The Information Minister, the Finance/Planning Minister, the Justice Minister, the party Chairman and even the gullible president, all came out alarming that a container loaded with LD$16 Billion has gone missing, only to turn out to be lie? This shows how amateurish, uncoordinated, incompetent and inept this government is! This is no assurance for a people craving for help to improve their lives. Even the former president, Ellen Sirleaf admonished this government to refrain from propagating such baseless allegation, with the unintended consequence of portraying Liberia in a negative light to the outside world. And how in hell’s name could a government alleged such childish untruth without ascertaining the allegation with not only its various organs involved, but especially the very institution that is the subject of the rumors? How silly and laughable could that be? People have to divest themselves from these early pleasure-seeking activities and instead, invest themselves more with learning how government works. That is, if the welfare of the Liberian people factors in at all in this good time that is seemingly the preoccupation. While at it remember the old nursery rhyme or lullaby: Rock-a-bye baby on the tree tops, when the wind blows, the cradle will rock; when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall; down will come baby, cradle and all! Don’t say nobody told you.

  3. Oh gee…What is surprise!!! After the Federal Reserve Bank of NY got involved, the Central Bank Governor now says “No L$16B Missing”!!! But wait…didn’t Governor Pathetic know all along that “No L$16B Missing”, per the CBL internal investigation? This whole thing stinks to the high heavens!!!

  4. If the CBL Governor says the $L16B la not missing, that means the amount is in. Let us send some neutral Liberian experts in to see how much we have spent in total thus far on Government expenditure from the time he got in and see the balance after we subtract revenue generated since he came in plus how much was in before he started as Governor minus the 16. If something good is in, than he can start supplying the market for only local production, not foreign yet. If it can not balance, than this Governor should not touch any Liberian money until the investigation is mounted. Do not answer me. Tell the Liberian people.
    Gone to silent majority.

  5. Okay, now let the Governor and his associates also reveal at once the actual status of the US$25,000,000 that was to be infused into the economy to “mop up” excess liquidity of Liberian dollars. Is that still in the CBL vault or where?

  6. I am confused because I don’t know who or what to believe about this “missing” “LD$16 billion. CBL, please prove to the Liberian people that what you are saying is true and correct. To me, you just saying “no money is missing” is not enough to convince me. Publish the paper trail, and permit the IMF to verify the claims of the CBL. This LD$16 billion will not die a natural death.

    • Exactly. This government has lost all credibility, so how can anyone believe what they say. They need to show proof that the money wasn’t missing. The burden of proof is on them.

      • Agree. How about getting outside auditors to do a physical cash count of the “L$15.5 billion” that are currently in the Bank’s vault?? A lot of suspicion could be put to rest.

        • Martin, that will be easy cover-up!! They will just print more money to make up the 15.5 billion. Any amount they say is there, will be there. Print, print print. That how it is so easy it is for these nincompoops. there are not aware of the ramifications.

    • I agree. But one thing remember that he did not mention about the Information minister claim that money was printed in other countries. Is this true or not. Yes the money from the Crane company in Sweden is accounted for but what about the money from China and Lebanon that our Information Minister mentioned? No one has refuted that money was not printed there also. That is the money in questioned. That is the money that has no records of coming into the country and going into the Central Bank vaults. That is the money that was purportedly divided my McGill, Weah and the rest and all the mansions are going up. Some record keeping place will soon catch on fire. Mark my words and I can bet somewhere in the Freeport of Monrovia or Customs and Duties, that keep all docking and receiving records.

      This cannot be swept under the rug, because Central Bank of Weah says so.

  7. Dortu-Siboe Doe, brother of Samuel Doe, and agent or official mouth piece of the current government. In his eyes the current government can do no wrong. He calls George Weah, “Dr. Weah.” This baffles many intellectuals but again this could be the only way he gets paid. For him, throwing Liberia under the bus is profitable and as long as he is paid by the current government, he will continue to write nonsense on their behalf. “Show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are.”

    • I don’t know where Dortu got his college education but he lacks principle and ethics. No rational person will make such fool of himself to defend corruption and poor leadership of George Weah.

  8. I will soon invent some kind of Liberian machine to print or send for the one from the U.S to sell to the people…How can they be printing from all over? From east to west, and north to south. It cost money to print money. Where did the money come from to print? Which country manager, or company gives the free ink? If was free. Is it profitable to print one place or the place that offers the cheapest print? Do we need cheap prints? If 2X=16B +Y, where is X while B and Y are imaginary? Leave the calling names yet until this pure science unknown is found. Do not call me back. I am reading something. Tell the Liberian people the answer.

  9. There is no missing 16 billions LD container as it is being insinuated by some Liberians and media institutions in the country.We Liberians should desist from fabricating stories in the society about money container got missing from the Freeport. If many people are looking for news to shared around it should be factual and reliable. Some disgruntled individuals in society who need public attention will only make-up stories to satisfied their personal interests.Insinuating lies in the country is a complete disservice to your status as a responsible citizen.

  10. To me, this government is very irresponsible! How could they be making fool of the Liberian people like this? One moment, they say 16 billion is missing. Meanwhile, the Information and Finance Ministers are giving conflicting accounts. The president says an investigation is going on and those responsible will face the full weight of the law. Shortly after, the bank governor comes out to say no money is missing. Are these stupid people kidding me? Oppong been craving for this power, he now has it, and doesn’t seem to be in control or in the least know what’s going on in his government. I’M VERY DISAPPOINTED.

  11. Where are Dortu-Siebo Doe and Sylvester Gbeyafor Moses, these are the two staunch bakers.
    I do not have nothing against them. They have the right as Librarians to take side in every national issue.
    I just want to hear their views on this topic.

  12. All this back and forth will not solve the rumors about the $16 billion that was alledged missing. I think government should invite Philibert Browne who broke news about missing money and where he got the information that cause panic in the country to explain. If anyone from the government circle made statement, if President Sirleaf made statement on BBC it was caused by journalist causing panic in the country.
    Now that CBL Governor, Nat Patry has cleared the air, should we believe it or not? Should we engage outside independent source to probe into the allegation and give a report to the Liberian people? I believe AU,US,ECOWAS, UN and IMF will be best.

  13. No body going anywhere to seek information on this country money again. It cost money to ask for report. The Governor who keeps and spreads the the country money says he has the money on stock. The cash is in the right place. Every Liberian people Bank, CBL. It is the same for public and private tender. If you say you got your cash in your family pocket who will ask to look in your pocket? What else here to prove? If you want to see some Liberian public money, go buy something in the market or go deposit in the commercial bank or sell something legitimate. If you do not want to work for Liberian money, that is your problem. Find FXD=W. Do not answer my box. Gone to retire. I am finished working for my own.
    Reading something. Do not disturb.

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