Liberia: Jury Indicts Former Passport Director For Economic Sabotage, Theft & Conspiracy
Monrovia – Barely a month after his arrest and detention at the Monrovia Central Prison for allegedly defrauding the Government of US$25,000 in an alleged passport scheme, the Grand Jury of Montserrado County has indicted the former Director of Passport at the Foreign Ministry, Andrew Wonploe.
Wonploe, now free on bond, is being indicted along with a Nigerian Adeydoyin Atiro.
They have now been indicted for economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy.
The indictment states that on the 13th of August 2019 the two Defendants were arrested by officers of the Crime Services Division of the Liberia National Police (LNP) after receiving a tip-off that defendants were involved in a passport scheme in which the Government of Liberia has lost the amount of US$25,000.
“Defendants Wonploe and Adedoyin Atiro connived, conspired and colluded and without any sense of remorse began to sell the Liberian Passports to non-Liberians within and out of the country.”– The Grand Jury Indictment
The indictment stated that the CSD officers constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe their involvement in the scheme.
The indictment added that the crime was allegedly committed at the time Wonploe was serving as Director of Passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It says while Wonploe was serving in the employ of the government and occupying that position he was entrusted with 4,250 pieces of Liberian Passports by Foreign Ministry Authority to be issued to Liberians but “purposely knowingly, willfully and intentionally signed and issued several pieces of the passports to co-defendant Atiro”.
“Defendants Wonploe and Adedoyin Atiro connived, conspired and colluded and without any sense of remorse began to sell the Liberian Passports to non-Liberians within and out of the country,” the indictment added.
The CSD investigation established that Co-defendant Atiro on the 16th of July allegedly issued a cash receipt of US$1,000.00 to a passport victim identified as Sarah Washington hereby causing the Government of Liberia to also loss the same amount of US$25,000.00, the indictment stated.
“The Special Grand Jury of Monsterrado County, Republic of Liberia upon oath do hereby find more probably than not that Defendants Andrew Wonploe and Adedoyin Atiro committed the crime of theft of property and felony of the second degree.”
Both Defendants Wonploe and Adedoyin are now required to file a new criminal appearance bond with the Sheriff of the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice where they are to go on trial within the course of two terms of courts as required by the law.