U.S. Embassy Warns Travelers of Difficulty in Getting Cash from Banks in Liberia

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MONROVIA – The United States Embassy in Monrovia has warned its citizens and permanent residents visiting Liberia of the difficulties in getting cash in the country.

The Embassy, in an alert to would-be travelers, noted that the banking sector in the country has been experiencing cash shortage over the last several months. It also noted that ATM machines often do not dispense money.

“As a consequence, it is difficult to obtain adequate cash supplies from ATMs and banks.  There are no ATM facilities for public use at the U.S. Embassy,” the Embassy stated.

As per regulation, travelers would have to declare cash amount of US$10,000 and above upon arrival in Liberia. Passenger may, however, be allowed to enter with US$7,500 or less.

This is not the first time banks in Liberia have ran out of cash.

Sometime this year public sector employees cannot get access to the Liberian dollar component of their salary due to the crisis.

Last month, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bhofal Chambers, blamed businesses in the country for creating what he called “artificial shortage” of the Liberian dollars.

He made specific accusations against foreign business entrepreneurs residing in Liberia and warned them to adhere to things that will allow they and Liberians coexist.

Speaker Chambers: “In one week, you see how the dollars has fallen. In my view, I think that is hoarding and it’s a crime and it a threat to national security. We think that those who want to stay in the borders of Liberia should be able to adhere to those things that will allow them and us have that coexistence.

“To see business people determining how our people live by determining the exchange rate on a daily basis and in the banks, we have no money, we think it is well calculated and we find it to be a kind of cartel to ensure that Liberia does not prosper.”

According to the Speaker, all members of the legislature including those from the opposition are of the belief that the situation is artificial and people involved are hoarding the Liberian dollars from the market to intentionally cause a situation of instability.

“All of our colleagues in the Legislature even those in the opposition believe that what is happening is artificial and we should urge our business people to bring back our money to put it where it belongs. We are dealing with some business people to ensure that there is some justice in the financial sector.”

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