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Over US$1m Theft At UBA -13 Employees Linked

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Legal documents available to this paper have revealed that 13 top employees of the United Bank of Africa or UBA had connived with few local companies to strangulate the bank financially with US$1,257,772.00 stolen in December 2010.

The suspects are Tunde C. Fon, UBA Freeport Branch Cash Officer; Rashi R. Chandi, Freeport Branch Operation Manager; Romeo Clarke, Jr., Cash Management Clerk; James E. Potter, Broad Street Resident Auditor and Kerlie M.Miller, Ganta Branch Cash Officer.

Others are Chikezie Ibem, Ganta Branch Manager; Boakai Paegar, Head Auditor and Investigator; Patrick K . Manjoe, Paynesville Operation Manager; Khrushchev Urey Freeport Branch Resident Auditor. Also linked to the US$1 million plus theft case from the Ganta Branch are Edward Constance, Johnson Diggs, Gerald Wright and Edwin Yeah.

The suspects allegedly committed economic sabotage, theft of property, among others, through ‘employees to employees’ relationship’ and in connivance with Ali Enterprise; Mamawa & Sons; James Adam, Alieu & Sons and Only God Blessing companies in 2010 and stole said amount.

The suspects, who occupied cash oriented offices allegedly strategized and stole funds, cash principles and interests generated from loans of the bank which amounted to US1, 257,772.00. The indictment claims that defendant Fon used his office to mastermind and manipulate the system before allegedly incorporating the rest of the defendants.

According to the bank, it lately discovered that the accused staffers loaned money out to the named companies; but allegedly converted both principles and interests into their personal use. The practice is said to have long existed among the defendants dating back to 2008.

In some cases or events, the indictment reveals that when a particular branch was short of cash as a result of the alleged dubious transactions, money was transferred from one branch to other to stabilize its account in an effort to conceal the criminal deals.

“Tunde C. Fon , being the mastermind of the commission of the crime theft of property, and with the full knowledge that he was threading a dangerous path began replacing money taken from his vault by asking custodians of other vaults who were part of the conspiracy to send cash to his vault to make up for the ones loaned out to individuals and entities,” the indictment said.

The suspects are expected to be tried under several charges, including misapplication of entrusted properties; criminal conspiracy; economic sabotage; theft of property; criminal solicitation and criminal facilitation.

The crimes are in violation of the statutory laws of the Republic of Liberia and the peace and dignity of the country, according to 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 15.51 (a&b) and 4LCLR of the Laws of Liberia.

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