President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has signed into law an “Act against Criminal Conveyance of Land” following its passage by both Houses of the Legislature.
According to a release, the Act was signed by President Sirleaf on August 26, 2014 after it passed by the both Houses on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 and Monday, September 3, 2014 respectively.
The Act against Criminal Conveyance of Land, published into handbills by authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is an amendment to Chapter 15, subchapter B, Section 15.21 of the Penal Law of Liberia.
According to the Act, a surveyor who encourages, persuades, surveys, uses his influence or in any other way participates or conspires with anyone in the sale or purchase of a parcel of land, knowing or being in the position to know that the seller of such land has no lawful title, is guilty of a first degree felony punishable by both a fine, prison term of not less than ten years and a permanent revocation of his/her license to practice as a surveyor.
The Law also points out that a surveyor who surveys a land without a notice to all adjoining property owners, consistent with the existing law, regulations or executive order or procedure, is guilty of a felony of the third degree.
The law further states that a person guilty of second degree felony is given a prison term of not more than five years and made to restitute an amount equal to double the gain receive from the criminal conveyance of Land.
The Law also states that a person guilty of criminal conveyance of land shall face a felony of the second degree, while the person is guilty of third degree of felony if he or she purchases a parcel of land knowingly or has reason to know that the land does not belong to the seller or is being criminally conveyed.
According to the release, a person guilty of third degree under this Law shall be punished by both a fine to be determined by the Court -the maximum which shall not be more than double the gain or a prison term of not more than three years.
The release indicated that Officials of government, including traditional, local and national leaders or any person holding a powerful position, who abuses such authority to unduly influence or compel an individual or group of individuals to wrongfully convey a parcel of land or any portion of land, is guilty of felony of second degree.
-Edited By George Barpeen