Liberia: Authorities Tight-lipped on Reported Missing Container of Money from Freeport of Monrovia
Monrovia – The Government of Liberia is yet to give any clarity on the reported missing container of money amounting to L$9 billion (US$60 million) from the Freeport of Monrovia. The container reportedly went missing on March 31, 2018.
According to reports, President George Manneh Weah has urged the Liberia National Police to lead an investigation into the matter along with the National Security Agency (NSA).
The request to enter the port and take delivery of printed materials on March 31, 2018 was reportedly written by Mrs. Mariea E. Grisby-Toe, Director, General Services, Musulyn R.B. Jackson, Oldada Deshield and five others of the CBL who reportedly took delivery of the container. The container was, however, not taken to the CBL, according to reports.
The brokers were Mr. Lawrence Sirleaf and Ms. Elise G.N. Jolo of JVS Enterprise Inc.
A local daily, Hot Pepper Newspaper reported last week that agents of the NSA and the police on September 13, 2018 raised the offices of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) which was said to have signed off for the container before it left the port.
All efforts exerted by FrontPage Africa to ascertain the facts from the NSA and the LNP proved futile. The Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue, told this paper Sunday evening that he could not comment on the matter.
Mrs. Maria E. Grisby-Toe who is reported to have authorized the removal of the container told FPA that she could not comment as her office was handling to situation to come up with an official statement soon.
According to reports, the bank notes in the container were printed in Lebanon and were all in L$100 and $500 categories respectively. The forty-foot container is said to have been taken out of the Freeport of Monrovia on March 31, 2018.
Although the Government of Liberia remains mum on the issues, there are reports from some quarters that the LNP and NSA, on the orders of President George M. Weah have launched an intensive investigation with detectives raiding the Auditing Department of the CBL.
Reports says officers sealed off the 5th floor of the CBL on Ashmun Street, detaining staffers of the Auditing Department and searching records that will give them clue to the mystery of the missing container.
If it is true that government is investigating the alleged scheme, pundits are wondering why the government continues to be tight-lipped on the maters.
The reports came on the heels of rumors and speculations that there are individuals who are illegally printing huge quantities of the Liberian bank notes in foreign countries and infusing it in the economy.
Some believe that the alleged scheme is one of the reasons behind the continuous depreciation of the Liberian dollars against the United States dollars.
The L$500 banknotes is also said to be flawed with counterfeit on the market, thus causing many Liberians, especially rural dwellers to refuse it.
The situation was also brought to the attention of some lawmakers in when they raise concerned of the irregularities in the features of the newly printed bank notes and asked plenary to invite the CBL Governor to give clarity on the security features.