Ex-lawmaker’s son, others jailed
– for alleged theft of property, economic sabotage
By Lincoln G. Peters
The Forest Development Authority (FDA) has sent nine suspects to court for theft of property, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, and criminal facilitation.
Among the suspects is the son of former Montserrado County Representative Richmond Anderson.
A police charge sheet dated Thursday, 5 January 2023 names the defendants as Isaac Richmond Anderson, Beomjin Lee, Dauoda Sesay, and Junjeon Sik.
The others are Edward K. Jallah, Isaac Railey, Peter Kpadeh, David Taweh, and Prince K. Wallace.
Police said the defendants allegedly violated several provisions of the law here.
In a complaint filed by FDA Board Chair Harrison Kanwea, the agency said in September, the joint security at the Klay and Sawmill Check Points in Bomi County arrested a 20-foot container of logs.
The logs were allegedly being taken from Gbarpolu County and were heading for the Freeport of Monrovia.
The charge sheet maintained that in July 2022, suspect Anderson met with two South Korean nationals named Beomjin Lee and Jun Sik in Liberia.
Authorities claimed that the meeting was to arrange the purchase, and shipment of logs from the Republic of Liberia.
They said defendant Anderson later introduced the Koreans to the Eco Group of Companies named Edwin Wesley, and a Memorandum of Understanding was allegedly signed between the Eco Group of Companies and the Koreans.
“Due to disagreement between the CEO of Eco Group and the Koreans, the MoU was abandoned due to disagreement over twelve thousand United States requested by the group,” the complaint alleged.
It noted that defendant Sesay was entrusted by the Koreans to arrange the cutting, transportation, and shipment of the logs from Gbarpolu to the Freeport of Monrovia.
The police charges revealed that suspect Kpadeh contacted two custom brokers, namely Prince Wallace and David Taweh to assist in the arrangements with the Customs Authority at the Freeport of Monrovia for Export Permit (EP) acquisition.
Defendants Varney Marshall and suspect Edward Jallah, employees of the FDA assigned at Clay Check Point, met with suspect Sesay who claimed to be the owner of the logs and allegedly arranged with the FDA employees to allow the truck with containers of logs to pass the Klay Check Point without proper assessment of documentation.
Defendant Marshall allegedly informed the investigation that Wallace gave them (Edward Jallah, Nathaniel Bolay) the amount of US$400 at the Klay Check Point and later sent additional money on his phone so that they could release the container trucks.
The investigation noted that Benjamin Tennessee Plowen, Deputy Managing Director for Administration of FDA, was invited by the investigation to provide clarity on his alleged role played in the issuance of FDA export permit for the round logs (EKKI ) which were provided to suspect Sesay through suspect Railey.
However, investigators said Plowen failed to honor the invitation which constitutes hindering law enforcement in contravention of the New Penal Code of Liberia.