Suspended NPA Boss Charged with Over US$800K Theft

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Suspended National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Matilda Parker, accused of awarding a bogus wreck removal contract valued at US$800,000 to Denmar Enterprise, has been indicted by the Government of Liberia (GOL).
Defendant Parker, her Comptroller, Christina K. Paelay, and Deneah M. Flomo, chief executive officer of Denmar Enterprise, were charged with the commission of the crimes of economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy.
Up to press time last night, it was not clear whether or not their legal counsels had filed their response to the indictment.
Under the alleged contract, Denmar Enterprise owned by one Deneah M. Flomo was to assess all wreckage in the Port of Greenville, Sinoe County and to generate a bill of quantity and cost for the removal of the debris.
Defendant Flomo was also expected to provide a projected plan for the removal of the wreckage at the port.
According to the contract, 50 percent payment
in the amount of US$250,000 should have been made upon the signing of the agreement. Upon the removal of the first quantity of wreckage, 25 percent payment amounting to US$125,000 should have been made and the remaining 25 percent in the amount of US$125,000 was expected to be paid upon the removal of the second batch of wreckage.
But GOL alleges that co-defendant Flomo did not perform any of the work prescribed under the Wreck Removal Contract signed with the NPA on July 30, 2011.
Rather, co-defendants Parker and Paelay allegedly paid and/or caused to be paid, three checks totaling US$500K to co-defendant Flomo for services that were reportedly never rendered the NPA, and allegedly converted the amount to their personal use and benefits, thereby defrauding the NPA, and the Government and people of Liberia.
The accused accordingly conspired with and created an opportunity for co-defendant Flomo to join them in defrauding the government and Liberians of the amount of US$500K, according to the indictment.
The payment was allegedly made by three checks to co-defendant Flomo. On August 20, 2011 the amount of US$250,000 was paid via Ecobank check number 00417447 and on December 20, 2011, the amount of US$125,000 was paid via the same bank on check number 00418553. The balance amount of US$125,000 was paid via check number 2045604 on June 28, 2012.
The court document further alleges that on August 2, 2012, co-defendants Parker and Paelay entered into another contract valued at US$300K with a purported Recognized Security Organization (RSO), named and styled Denmar Enterprise, whose sole proprietor is co-defendant Flomo without the so called “Recognized Security Organization”(RSO) obtaining the required approval of the Designated Authority, The Liberia Maritime Authority, to carry out security related services within the Freeport of Monrovia and the Ports of Buchanan and Greenville.
According to the court document, the contract did not define what the first and second wrecks were. Furthermore the contract was never presented to the Legal Department of the National Port Authority (NPA) by either co-defendants Parker or Paelay for its review, which is the normal procedure within the NPA system.
The alleged fraud was discovered by the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC) when co-defendant Flomo appeared before it and subsequently admitted that he is only a high school graduate and that he is not a wreck engineer. He further admitted that he has never conducted any Port Facility Security Assessment neither did he remove any wreckage from the port of Greenville.
Instead, it was co-defendant Christina Kpabar-Paelay that he first interacted with while seeking a contract for the supply of stationery to the NPA. He said that he was requested by co-defendant Paelay to supply stationery to the port valued at US$3,000 on a pre-financed basis, the LACC claimed.
It also quoted, defendant Flomo as saying “a few days after he supplied the stationery to NPA, co-defendant Paelay called him and gave him a check of US$250,000, prepared in his name for encashment. He said that he was accompanied by her to Ecobank’s Vai Town Branch where he cashed the check and turned over the full amount of US$250,000 to co-defendant Paelay.”
The court document further states that Flomo claimed defendant Paelay in turn rewarded him with an amount of US$3,000 for his role in the grand conspiracy with Matilda Parker and Christina Kparbar-Paelay.
The LACC said during the investigation, Flomo further revealed in his written statement that several other checks were subsequently written in his name in respect to both the Wreck Removal Contract and the ISPS consultancy Contract/Port Facility Security assessment contract.
He confessed that he has no knowledge of wreck engineering and did not remove a single load of wreckage from the Port of Greenville neither did he carry out any port facility security assessment in any of the ports named in the contract.
The indictment drawn by the Special Grand Jury for Montserrado County, alleged that between July 2011, up to and including December 2012, at the Head Offices of the NPA, co-defendants, Parker and Paelay by virtue of their employment and/or positions within the said entity, did knowingly and intentionally collude and conspire with Co-Defendants Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise to defraud and did defraud the NPA of the amount of US$837,950.
The court document further claimed that under the contract, defendant Flomo was to report directly to the deputy managing director for operations at the NPA.
But, the document alleges, the director for operations denied having any knowledge about the execution and that he never met or interacted with defendant Flomo or any of his representatives.

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