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GeneralLiberia news

FIU dismisses two senior officials

By Lincoln G. Peters

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) on Monday, 27 June 2022, dismissed two senior staff for allegedly tipping off and illegally stealing classified investigative information for personal gains.

The FIU said the alleged action by Mr. Cooper Leamah and one Goba, has destroyed evidence, undermined the institution’s investigations and rendered several of their investigation meaningless.

The FIU said the two accused officials were dismissed for their action which is in violation of Section 67.13 of the FIU Act of 2012.

It added that the act also violates Section 6.7.6 of the Human Resources Handbook of the FIU, the Code of Conduct and Statement of Confidentiality. 

Speaking in an exclusive telephone interview with this paper Monday, 27 June 2022, FIU Director-General Mr. Edwin W. Harris said Mr. Leamah tipped off to his boss for over 10 years, destroyed evidence and rendered their investigation meaningless.

He noted that Mr. Cooper, who was a senior member of the FIU and signed on to the Code of Conduct of the FIU, did disclose such conflict of interest with the only aim of protecting his boss and stalling the investigation.

He noted that this violates blatantly the Code of Conduct to which he signed.  

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“His action of willful blindness has not only undermined the investigation since but has rendered the entire investigation meaningless,” said Mr. Harris.

When Mr. Leamah managed the STRs, Mr. Harris said it was observed that he intentionally deleted two STRs filed by a local bank in favor of personal gains even after the local bank reached out to him to follow up.

Harris said Leamah responded to the bank that “you have filed and you have nothing with it.”

The FIU boss added that on the other hand, Mr. Goba was seen illegally taking sensitive information from the FIU for personal gains and in some instances conducting investigations on individuals for personal gains.

According to Harris, such investigation was never sanctioned by the office of the Director or the Head of Legal and Analysis.

Mr. Goba was conducting these illegal investigations and reporting to people outside of the FIU without the consent of the Director, according to Harris.

Mr. Harris narrated that after Mr. Goba was discovered, they put in control policy to prevent the illegal and unauthorized information by disabling USB ports on every computer within the Unit including computer assigned to Mr. Goba.

“Mr. Goba openly and angrily insulted me in the presence of staff for putting in control policy that prevents him and any other staff from stealing classified information for personal gains,” Mr. Harris alleged.

“However, In keeping with the powers of the Director, Goba was informed that he will be transferred from the Analysis Department since he was compromised,” he noted. –Edited by Winston W. Parley

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