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Missing billion reports troubling

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The Institute for Research and Democratic Development or IRRED says the report released by USAID thru the United State Embassy in Liberia is troubling and worrisome for the country.

In a press release Monday, March 4, IREDD says it welcomes the redacted version of the independent review regarding allegation of the disappearance of LRD16 billion, as released last week.

“IREDD notes that the findings from the report are overwhelming, troubling and underscores the complete collapse of the country’s financial and administrative institutional systems, processes and mechanism across the public management chain and extremely weak oversight public institutions.”

IREDD says it takes note of the swift step by the government through the Liberia National Police to effect arrest of some officials of the Central Bank of Liberia and others who may be found culpable.
‘We would like to urge the government to bring all those found culpable to face justice, and strongly cautions against any form of selective justice”, IREDD adds.

Meanwhile, IREDD recommends to USAID and the Government of Liberia that in the spirit of doctrine of openness and on the [basis] of the exclusive rights of Liberians to know and right to information, full and un-redacted report should be released to the public.

Several officials of the Central Bank of Liberia or CBL, including Deputy Governor Charles Sirleaf, were arrested last week along with Dorbor Hagba, Director for Banking, hours after government released its findings into investigation on the alleged missing 16 billion banknotes. The officials have been taken to court and formally charged.

The final report of a scoping investigation initiated by the United States Agency of International Development upon request of the United States Embassy near Monrovia into the “missing 16 billion Liberian bank notes” reveals that excess LRD 1.944 billion was printed by Crane AB of Sweden and brought into Liberia in two tranches, characterized by discrepancies and inconsistencies.

USAID hired an American private firm, Kroll Associates, Inc. to conduct a scoping report engagement to ascertain the basic facts of the alleged disappearance of new Liberian Dollar banknotes, and to determine to what extent a broader investigation would be required into the matter.

The investigation followed an official request from the Government of Liberia to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, ECOWAS and other international partners to assist with investigation that had already begun by a Presidential Investigative Team commissioned by President George Manneh Weah.
-IRRED
By Lewis S. Teh

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