LONDON – The US Federal Reserve System has reportedly put a freeze on transaction with the Central Bank of Liberia owing to the high-level of uncertainty surrounding the ongoing investigation into the missing billions controversy.
Report by Rodney D. Sieh, [email protected]
At issue is the fact that several senior Central Bank of Liberia officials are currently under investigation in connection with the missing billions currency and have been barred from leaving the country.
Key among those ordered not to travel are Mr. Milton A. Weeks, Former Executive Governor Office of the Executive Governor, who previously oversaw the overall Management of the Bank and Mr. Charles E. Sirleaf Deputy Governor, responsible for Finance, Banking and General Services Departments.
Sirleaf is the lead signature on the CBL’s account with the Feds thus, the Feds are said to be uncomfortable dealing with Liberia without a legitimate signatory.
FrontPageAfrica has learned that several of Liberia’s stakeholders including the International Monetary Fund(IMF) have been raising red flags and concerns that those under investigation should not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the CBL, particularly regarding the US Federal Reserves.
President George Manneh Weah recently established a Special Presidential Committee to probe the mysterious disappearance of L$16 billion from the vault of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the Monrovia City Court last week restricted the movement of 35 employees of the bank pending the outcome of the investigation.
The involvement of the court was triggered by a Writ of Ne-Exeat Republica prayed for by authorities at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to restrain persons of interest from leaving the jurisdiction of the court pending an action.
Also barred from leaving are: Mounir Siaplay, Dorbor Hagba, Richard H. Walker, Adolphus Forkpah, and Cyrus Badio, head of public affairs and Maria E. Grigsby-Toe, who reportedly led the team that took the container out of the Free Port. Others are Amie N. Rogers, Michael B. Ogun, James Wilfred, Joseph K. Jallah, Supuwood T. Tarpeh, Mussa A. Kamara, Mustapha E. Sherman, Sylvia Tarkpah, Joyce J. Dolo, George Wilson, Miatta Oberly Kuteh, Musulyn R. B. Jackson, Maaka Amnlard, Prince Bull, Solomon Jaykpah, Theodoria B. Jreh, Oldada Deshield, and Ophelia Nyenpan Barquolleh.
The rest are Gabriel Zinnah, Davison Lillie Ballah, Andrew Pabai, Edwina Edet, William Dargbeh, Stephen Nyema, David M. Wilson, and Lawrence Sirleaf.
The Federal Reserve System was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics, particularly the panic of 1907 which led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises.
Over the years, events such as the Great Depression in the 1930s and the Great Recession during the 2000s have led to the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System.
The U.S. Congress established three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act: maximizing employment, stabilizing prices, and moderating long-term interest rates. The first two objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate. Its duties have expanded over the years, and currently also include supervising and regulating banks, maintaining the stability of the financial system, and providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions. The Fed conducts research into the economy and provides numerous publications, such as the Beige Book and the FRED database.
Part of the CBL’s function is to control the nation’s money supply and the overall availability of credit in the economy. It can increase the supply of money and the availability) of credit by lowering the percentage of deposits that banks must hold as reserves at the Federal Reserve System, by lowering the discount rate or purchasing government bonds through open market operations. The Federal Reserve System can decrease the supply of money and the availability of credit by raising reserves selling government bonds.
FrontPageAfrica has learned that authorities are currently working with the Monrovia City Court to reword the Writ of Ne-Exeat Republica in hopes of getting the Fed to revisit the freeze on Liberia.