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CENTAL applauds FIA Boss’ suspension 

Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia applauds President Joseph Boakai for acting against corruption.

Lewis S Teh

Monrovia, Liberia, April 2, 2024 – The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia, or CENTAL, has commended President Joseph Nyuma Boakai for suspending the executive director of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Stanley Ford over alleged corruption at the entity.

CENTAL recently called on the President to immediately suspend the FIA Boss, the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) for corrupt practices at the institution.

“This is a win for the fight against corruption. Mr. President, thank you for listening to our call to suspend the director general of the Financial Intelligence Agency, Mr. Stanley Ford”, the Center noted.

Executive Director Anderson Miamen recalled that on February 27, 2024, it was reported that the Financial Intelligence Agency of Liberia (FIA), which is mandated to investigate financial crimes, is alleged to have been caught in the web of dubious financial dealings and crimes.

“Therefore, we call on President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., to immediately suspend Mr. Stanley Ford, the institution’s director general, and all those at the center of the saga. Their continued presence as leaders and managers casts a dark shadow over the institution and neutralizes its ability to fight financial and related crimes.”

Maimen said CENTAL sees those reports as disturbing and potentially damaging to citizens’ and development partners’ trust in institutions like the FIA, which is authorized to fight corruption and other shady financial dealings, including money laundering.

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He quoted the report as saying over one million United States Dollars was disbursed in the name of the Comptroller, including over US$500,000 withdrawn on the same day transferred by the Central Bank of Liberia. 

He said another report, which he did not name, placed the total amount involved in the scandal at over US$6 million. He said that if not properly disposed of, these allegations could hamper the institution’s credibility, including the outcomes of sanctions and other efforts to enforce their very important mandate.

He cited as an example that fines imposed on insurance companies, banks, gaming companies, and other entities for violation of financial procedures could face stiff challenges. 

Also, responsible institutions might hesitate to make suspicious transaction reports to FIA, as required by its 2022 amended act.

“We note multiple occasions during which FIA sanctioned individuals and institutions accused and investigated for alleged dubious financial dealings and money laundering, similar to that which the current leadership is accused of”

 Miamen recalled that in 2021, while granting a motion filed by FIA, the Presiding Judge of Criminal Court C ordered the proceeds of over US$234,000 confiscated and transferred to the General Revenue Account of Liberia. 

He said the company at the center of the saga, Korlane Investment Limited Liability Company, and its corporate owners were investigated by FIA for alleged wire fraud and money laundering.

 The FIA, which has a mandate to fight such a crime, cannot be at the center of similar and even more egregious incidents; it thus needs timely and appropriate action (s) from the country’s leadership. 

 At the same time, the CENTAL Boss noted that they have been reliably informed that the FIA Director General, Mr. Stanley Ford, is undergoing investigation by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), which he says is welcoming.

The President has made it clear that he will not tolerate any form of malpractice, and he has directed the Ministry of Justice to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the matter. He expressed confidence that the investigation will ensure that justice is served. 

The President has further urged Mr. Ford to submit himself to the investigation and cooperate fully to ensure the matter is resolved expeditiously. Editing by Jonathan Browne 

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