— Deputy Speaker pays tribute
Deputy Speaker, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, is among many who are mourning the loss of Yoram Cohen the visionary founder of the Liberia Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR).
Koffa hailed Cohen as a "man of his word, who always aspired to do the next great thing" when signing the book of condolences.
“He will be missed!” he added.
The Grand Kru County District #2 Representative described Cohen as a person he knew well, saying “his footprint in the economy does not have a match.”
Koffa worked for Yoram as his legal counsel until his death on March 4.
The later Cohen and his family had run LISCR on an open registry policy — known as a “flag of convenience” — which does not require a ship’s owner or crew to be Liberian, attracting vessels seeking lower taxes and wage requirements than in their home countries.
Seafarers’ unions view the system as a means for ships to skirt labor regulations and mask their true ownership.
LISCR also played a controversial role during the bloody regime of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, whose war crimes conviction by the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone was upheld last month.
As a major source of revenue for Liberia when Taylor was in power, the company came under close scrutiny by both the United Nations and U.S. officials, who were concerned about how the revenue it turned over to the government was being used, according to interviews and public documents.
However, Koffa is emphasizing that Cohen was a great businessman who always had a passion for doing something new, and a love for humanity and he never gave up when it comes to Liberia's economy.
He said the former LISCR boss will be remembered for his positive approach, and his legacy is keeping the Liberian Flag Registry afloat to be number one.
The Liberian Deputy Speaker said Yoram took LISCR from nowhere after the civil war and oversaw the phenomenal rise of the Liberian Flag Registry into the world's best, fastest-growing, and second-largest.
Koffa added said, the next big thing Yoram did was to establish the Cellcom GSM Company, which de-monopolized the GSM mobile sector, which was his second legacy.
“He will be missed by all who come across him, we always learn new things whenever you meet him even on his last day he was so passionate about the business community.”
“I am involved in several businesses and it was inspired because of Yoram Cohen,” the Deputy Speaker said.
Meanwhile, it may be recalled, President George Weah described the fallen business giant as a long-time friend of Liberia who contributed immensely to the growth of the country's maritime sector.