The Liberian Maritime Authority is sinking in its own muddy waters, a situation created by both past and present authorities and their trusted commissioners.
With the management of its remittances from the Liberia Shipping and Corporate Registry or LISCR going back and forth between the authority and the Ministry of Finance, now Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development, the arrangement provided a huge room for alleged massive theft.
From the regime of ex-President Charles Taylor to this current regime, the system had created room for plunder- with individuals walking away with staggering amounts being en-cashed over the counter. Volumes of documents available to this paper covering the periods from 2009 January to December 2015, purporting to be the bank statement of the Maritime’s Operational account-are testaments of how royalties accrued under the country’s flagship program have been squandered over the years-with dozens of bogus questionable payments being made to several individuals including highly placed personalities in society.
The papers, which authorities are yet to confirm or denied but only claimed have been doctored by some elements within and outside the Guarantee Trust (GT) Bank with the sole aimed of blackmailing both the Bank and the LMA appears to be damaging.
the documents also highlights payments made to politicians, past and present government officials as well as some members of the media. Sources at the Maritime Authority claimed this financial document was leaked from the bank as an instrument to blackmail authorities there, some of whom have since left the bank and are now living large in the United States.
But the Guarantee Trust Bank’s Public Relations officer, who only identified himself as Mathias when this paper visited the banking institution on Thursday May 12, 2016, denied that the bank was aware of the leakage of the Maritime’s financial papers, something which suggest that it could have only been leaked by sources within the LMA and not GTBank.
This writer has access to various exchanges between individuals representing the Maritime Authority and the individuals linked to the leakage of the document with request being made to keep them quiet.
The group had demanded some huge sum of money from the cash scrapped Maritime to keep quiet over a document which sources at the LMA have categorized as doctored.
This paper is aware that certain amounts have been paid over the months to keep the blackmailers quiet but the deal went bad between the ring leader, and the middle man (name withheld for now).
Things got out of hand in April when the group split over a certain amount that was said to have been paid via the middle man who was said to have swindled same. Thus prompting their ringleader Daniel Moore to go on the rampage threatening to leak the document further to more media houses.
This writer have made contact with several individuals including politicians and journalists who one way or the other received some kind of a payment from the Maritime Authority. Over the past month this writer have also made contact with key individuals who are alleged to have played a role in a quiet negotiation to keep these documents out of the public glare.-Coming next the extortion scheme and the documents.-Writes
–Othello B. Garblah