Presidential Intelligence Team Says L$2 Billion to Be Accounted For. Really?

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By J. Yanqui Zaza

  1. To Calculate the Amount to Be Accounted For

KROLL PIT J. Yanqui Zaza J. Yanqui Zaza1
New Banknotes 18,151,000,000 18,151,000,000 18,151,000,000 18,151,000,000
Cur. in Cir. 11/30/18 18,889,600,000
Plus Beg. In 1/1/2016 10,393,000,000
Plus US $14 Million  2,151,000,000   2,151,000,000  2,151,000,000
Amount Infused 2016 <3,759,000,000>  <3,320,000,000> <3,759,000,000>
Amount infused 2017/18 <6,387,000,000> <10,718,000,000> <6,387,000,000>
Ruined old banknotes <4,390,276,620>  <4,390,276,620>
Left in reserved Vault <1,465,000,000> <1,465,000,000> <1,456,000,000> <1,456,000,000>
Total To be accounted 4,308,000,000 <1,773,000,000> 10,350,000,000 8,700,000,000

 

(L$18.15 billion New banknotes: PIT Report) (L$18.88 billion Ending at 11/30/18: CBL)

The schedule above is to help us understand how the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) arrived at the L$2 billion to be accounted for by the Liberian government. Kroll, the foreign and second investigating Team, without stating an amount, recommended that the government should  investigate a significant amount to be unaccounted for. On the other hand, I, using  the two reports, audited financial statements, annual report of the Central Bank and my experience reviewing financial records of the Central Bank of Liberia, I have computed a conservative amount to be accounted for. If you are not aware, the government had set up two investigating Teams to investigate an official report  last year that government was searching for L$15 billion banknotes.

Let us forget about the two schedules (i.e., the one above and the other below) for the moment and visit our attitude as citizens of a country that got its independence in 1847. Why did Liberia have to go through such  embarrassment and humiliation in order to retrieve documentations to provide evidence that the government deposited L$ 18.15 billion new banknotes in 2016, 2017 and 2018? This business transaction is similar to any business transaction that happens every day. For instance, a government, which has a savings account or checking account at a bank, will usually prepare a deposit slip, reflecting the amount to be deposited. A teller at his/her bank, after the deposit transaction, should give a deposit bank receipt, with a date and a number, to the depositor proving that the amount of money reflected on the customer’s deposit slip was the amount deposited into his/her account on that date.

Description 2018 2017 2016 2015
Beg. Cur in Cir. 15,927,925,000 12,755,365,000 10,393,019,000 9,394,317,000
Add. banknotes   2,961,675,000   3,172,560,000   2,362,346,000
End. Cu in Cir 18,889,600,000 15,927,925,000 12,755,365,000

As per KPMG Audited Financial Statements (2015, 2016, 2017). CBL Annual Report 2018.

In the case of the Liberian L$18.15 billion saga, Liberian officials and/or investigators should have asked the Finance Ministry of Liberia, Central Bank of Liberia and commercial banks of Liberia for documentation since each institution should have some kind of record of new banknotes. Liberian commercial banks have banknotes information because they receive them when the Central Bank of Liberia infuses banknotes (new or old) into the economy. I guess that every three-six years, the government has to infuse new banknotes to replace old and ruined banknotes and/or to infuse new banknotes into the economy to meet government’s needs.

The honorable Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, Cllr. F.  Musa Dean and  Oversight Commissioner For Enforcement/LCCC, Mr. Charles J. L. Gibson, III signed the Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) Report. Did PIT focus on getting documentation or schedules to prove that the Central Bank of Liberia included the L$18.15 billion within the Liberian Currency Circulation credit account?  Was it correct for PIT to deduct L$4,439,027,620 mutilated banknotes (i.e., mutilated or impaired amounts destroyed in 2017 and 2018) from the L$18.15 billion new banknotes in order to determine the amount missing or to be accounted for?

Also, if it is correct to deduct the ruined L$4.44 billion from the L$18.15 billion new banknotes to arrive at the amount to be accounted for, why did PIT not include the L$2.15 billion , amount received from the US $14 million in computing the amount missing? Did PIT obtain collaborating documentations from third parties to authenticate the  L$19 billion included within the Liberian Currency Circulation? Did PIT reconcile the L$19 billion included within the Currency Circulation to the Currency Circulation as Central Bank reported in 2016, 2017 and 2018?

Page # 13 “As of December 2018, the CBL had circulated all of the new banknotes printed in relation to the first contract (including the over-printed new banknotes), of which LRD 3.759 billion had been injected into the Liberian economy without removing from circulation and destroying the equivalent quantity/value of legacy banknotes.  Page # 14 of Kroll Report: “Therefore, new banknotes totaling LRD 6.387 billion from the second contract for LRD 10.0 billion were injected by the CBL into the Liberian economy without Legislature approval. Combined with the new banknotes totaling LRD 3.759 billion from the first contract injected by the CBL into the Liberian economy, it is possible that new banknotes totaling LRD 10.146 billion were injected into the Liberian economy in total. Page # 14 of the Kroll Report: “Kroll has sought to obtain information from the CBL regarding the end recipient of the new banknotes (e.g., commercial banks, Liberian Ministries etc.) however the CBL has not been able to provide this information. “Consequently, there is a risk that significant funds were (and remain) unaccounted for by the CBL, and Kroll therefore recommends that this matter merits further understanding.”

Now let us go to the schedule above. Please keep your eyes on three items; (1) amount infused or injected into Currency in Circulation, (2) banknotes destroyed, and  (3) banknotes left in reserve\ vault. This is because if the investigators reported higher amounts for any of these items, the amount to be accounted will be lower. What is the reason? Well, if a significant portion of the L$18.15 billion was injected or infused into the Liberian Currency in Circulation, then CBL deposited with the commercial banks a significant portion of the L$18.15 billion. About using the value of banknotes to reduce the L$18,151,000,000, I disagree. Yet, PIT believes that it is right, and it did use destroyed banknotes value to reduce the L$18.15 billion.

Another area of concern is that both investigators did not provide any documentations to indicate that they received collaborative schedules or documentations from third parties such as commercial banks.  For example, both investigating teams (PIT and Kroll) indicated that in 2016, the Central Bank injected or added about L$3 billion to the Currency in Circulation in 2016. However, the CBL’s financial statements audited by  KPMG stated that the Central Bank injected L$2 billion in 2016. Also, PIT reported L$10 billion as additions to the Liberian Currency in Circulation in 2017 and 2018, but the Central Bank’s 2017 and 2018 financial statements, which were audited by KPMG, reported a combined amount of  L$6 billion. as the amount added to 2017 and 2018 Currency in Circulation. PIT, which should have access, to the audited financial statements, did not provide any explanation.

The numbers PIT used to calculate the amount to be accounted for are eye popping.

So, let us add the numbers. It deducted L$4 billion destroyed; deducted L$10.718 billion infused in the economy in 2017 and 2018; deducted L$3 billion infused in the economy in 2016; deducted L$1 billion left in reserve vault in 2016; and deducted L$1 billion left in reserve vault in 2018. The total amount L$19 billion (L$4 B, L$10 B, L$3 B, L$1 B, and L$1 B) is more than the L$18.15 billion to be accounted for.

Therefore, how did PIT arrive at the L$2 billion to be accounted for?

This is the kind of report and conclusion any lawyer will hope to use and free his client.

Presidential Investigation Report

Kroll Associates, Inc. Report

CBL 2018 Annual Reports

CBL 2017 Audited Financial Statements

CBL Audited 2016 Financial statements

CBL 2015 Audited Financial statements

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