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LACC indicts Liberia-China Group CEO

The Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia-China United Investment Group, LianZhi faces corruption charges here.

Mr. Lian was indicted along with several former and current Liberian officials, including former Bong County Representatives George Mulbah, Sr. and TokpahMulbah as well as current Representatives Edward Karfiah, Melvin Cole, former Superintendent Rennie Jackson, former President of the Bong County Technical College John Flomo; Thomas Cisco, Project Specialist at the Ministry of Internal Affairs; Kenneth Yao Awadjie, former Assistant Chief Architect at the Ministry of Public Works; Marcus Eastman, Project Engineer, Project Implementation Unit, Bong County.

A release from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission discloses that the accused are charged with offenses of PPCC Act, Theft of Property, Fraud of the Internal Revenue of Liberia, Criminal Conspiracy and Criminal Facilitation, respectively, growing out of transactions they were involved with relative to the construction of the Bong College during the period of December 2009 up to January 2016, while serving and acting in various capacities, in total violation of the laws of Liberia.

The release details that the accused criminally converted to their own use and benefit, money from the Social and County Development Funds for Bong County Technical College in the amount of US$2,681,491.30 through various fraudulent schemes, including deceptively selecting Liberia China United Investment Group as the qualified company to construct the BCTC in Gbarnga, Bong County, in violation of the PPCC Act.

The release quotes the Grand Jurors for Bong County, Republic of Liberia, as upon oath, do hereby find more probably than not that the defendants did do and violate Subpart 2, section 31, of the Amended and Restated Public Procurement and Concessions Act, Part IV of the Public Procurement and Concessions Act and Section 24 (2) of the Public Financial Management Act, respectively.

That, during FY2009/2010 the citizens of Bong County agreed to undertake the construction of a Twin-wing two floor Administrative and Academic Building, two dormitories, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a soccer pitch, reservoir, generator house and staff quarters to host the DolokelenGboveh Community College, now Bong Technical College in Gbarnga City, at a construction cost of US$4,394,776.97.

That, in August 2010 the County Development Management Committee of Bong County published advertisement in the Daily Observer and Chronicle Newspapers, inviting qualified bidders for the construction of the Bong Technical College (BCTC), in Gbarnga, Bong County, and that, the advert provided that bidding would be through International Competitive Bidding (ICB) procedure specified in the Public Procurement and Concession Act (PPCA) and approved by the Public Procurement and Concession (PPCC).

The advert further required that eligible and qualified bidders must have the capacity to do a 50% pre-finance and submit bids with professional and technical qualifications; proof of equipment availability, past performance; legal capacity, financial resources and condition; payment of taxes and social security contributions, among others.By Emmanuel Mondaye

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