Liberia: Chinese Contractor Breaks Silence on US$450k Fraud Allegation
MONROVIA – Mr. Honbo Song the Chinese contractor who was accused of duping a Liberian businessman over US$ four hundred thousand United States dollars (US$400K) has broken his silence claiming he was being overstretched by his client.
According to Lee (the contractor), he accepted an offer from Mr. Wilson Nyaneh and Chris Bull to carryout renovation work on the former Cedar Beach located around Fish Market and submitted a bill of quantity (BOQ) in the amount of six hundred and seventy thousand United States dollars (US$6777, 000.00) for the renovation excluding tuff and fixtures for the football field.
But, Wilson Nyaneh and Chris Bull counter-offered the amount of four hundred thousand (US$400,000.00) for the renovation of the entire facility, which constitutes only 59% of the Bill of the amount.
According to Lee, he insisted that the counteroffer could not do the work; but was assured by Chris Bull that he could go ahead and sign the contract and that the amount will be topped up reasonably, as they know that there were additional developments they will want to be done on the property.
After the work started, Chris Bull and Wilson Nyanneh began to insist on the additional of developments not in the contract. Some of these developments include construction of an office with a manager suit and warehouse, the building of a 16 bathroom/latrine for football field and the building of beach for guest.
Lee also claimed that of the amount given him, Wilson Nyaneh deducted about US$100,000.00 and placed order for the tuff and soccer pitch materials; and insisted that Lee paid US$ 33,000.00, and incidentals for clearing and transport to the site, thus reducing the amount to be delivered to Lee for materials.
Frustrated that he had been exploited to do a work for 59% of the BOQ, and that additional work was done with no additional cash added, Lee threatened to quit the job and few released of meager amounts were made by Chris Bull with understanding that Wilson will refund him.
Lee finally realizing that he had been over-stretched and was now owing suppliers, and his workers huge amounts, and that he has done far more work and produced materials in excess of the amount actually released to him by Chris and Nyaneh, he prayed the Paynesville Magisterial Court to conduct a conference between the parties to review the contract but Wilson failed to attend on grounds that he was traveling..
What does the contract say?
As per the agreement, the contractor (Lee) is required to work with the owner of the institution during the construction work to support the development of maintenance capacity through work process training and internships the respective facility management staff.
Mr. Nyanneh also told reporters that since Mr. Hong abandoned the project, he has written him through his layers requesting him to either return his money or complete his work but the contractor has ignored his communication from his lawyers.
Also as part of efforts to find solution to the situation, Nyanneh said, he has written the Chinese Embassy in Monrovia calling on the Ambassador to intervene, since in fact the individual involve is a Chinese national but those efforts have wasted with either the contractor or the Embassy of China showing no interest.
In a letter of complaint dated March 4th 2022, Mr. Nyanneh informed the Chinese Ambassador accredited to Monrovia that, as per the contract between him and contractor Hong, the project should have completed December 9th, 2021 exclusive of Sundays and holidays. Up to the time when the communication was issued the Chinese Embassy, 50% of the work has not being completed.
Mr. Hong is also accused of purchasing substandard materials despite being advised by the client’s personal engineer against using such substandard materials.