‘LBDI Has Implicit Confidence in Our Suspended Compliance Officer’—A Senior Executive
Monrovia – An executive of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) has told FrontPageAfrica that the bank has implicit confidence in their suspended Vice President for Compliance and Investments, Mr. Oday G. Vaye.
By Alaskai Moore Johnson, [email protected]
According to this senior executive, who asked not to be named, Mr. Vaye has worked with the Bank for the last eight years and has not one day been involved with any dubious act.
The suspension of Mr. Vaye was announced Tuesday, May 19, by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Liberia, which had made the recommendation for the suspension to happen.
Mr. Vaye was suspended for a month without pay for violation of the “Suspicious Transaction Reporting Regulation (STRR).”
Mr. Vaye is not a criminal; he didn’t commit any crime; he is a professional and one of the best Financial Compliance Officers this country can boast ofLBDI Senior Executive
“The Financial Intelligence Unit found LBDI in breached of the regulation for late and incomplete filing of Suspicious Transaction Report (STR). The Regulation mandates all reporting entities to file Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) within three days along with all of the particulars of the persons/ institutions the report is being file about,” an FIU press release on the incident, states.
Providing clarity on the matter after this newspaper sought to further understand the matter, the LBDI executive, who asked not to be named, agreed with the FIU that indeed this particular report of theirs, was submitted to the FIU beyond the three-day requirement period.
The Regulation mandates all reporting entities, including the LBDI, to file Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) within three days along with all of the particulars of the persons/institutions the report is being filed about.
However, this senior LBDI executive thinks that the FIU, which is a government regulatory arm, was very harsh with its penalty, which it recommended to the bank that Vaye be suspended for a month without pay.
“There are three facts in this whole story. It’s truth that the bank has suspended our Compliance Manager; it’s truth that the suspension was based on the recommendations by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The third fact that the FIU didn’t say and hasn’t said is that it was the man (Vaye) himself who reported the suspicious transaction to the FIU when he noticed it,” the LBDI executive said. “Why is the FIU making the thing to look like Mr. Vaye had stolen or was caught in some dubious act for which he was suspended?” the LBDI executive wonders.
This person further told FrontPageAfrica that the full report had delayed because Mr. Vaye had lost his mother and he had traveled to Nimba to bury her. “It was during this time the report should have been made. We told the FIU all of this but they didn’t seem to care.”
“Mr. Vaye is not a criminal; he didn’t commit any crime; he is a professional and one of the best Financial Compliance Officers this country can boast of,” this senior LBDI executive stated.
“It was just a small bridge in communication. He did everything on the book when the matter got to his attention. There is nothing in the whole transaction that was malicious. He has been with the bank for about 8 years,” another executive at LBDI, also said.
It is said that Mr. Vaye was among the principal persons who help set up the FIU.
Asked about the penalty for such violation, the LBDI senior executive said that for first offense, which is in this case, a fine of L$50,000 should have been levied on the bank by the FIU. This is according to part three, section 3.2 and 3.2.1 under (Sanctions). L$175,000 for second offense, and all subsequent violations fine is L$325,000 respectively. But the regulator recommended that the Mr. Vaye, who is in charge of compliance at LBDI, be suspended without pay for a month.
It was just a small bridge in communication. He did everything on the book when the matter got to his attention. There is nothing in the whole transaction that was malicious. He has been with the bank for about 8 years,LBDI Executive
According to the Bank, they didn’t want to haul and pull the matter; “We simply just went by their recommendation. But we want to be crystal clear that the Bank has implicit confidence in our Compliance Manager.” A senior fellow of another bank told this newspaper that looking at what the FIU did to Mr. Vaye, who reported the matter to them, they and other compliance officers from other financial institutions, might now turn the blind eye and not report anything unusual especially when it’s past the statutory period.