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Liberia news

Police underreport seized money

An amount of over LRD200, 000 purported to have been the total amount in counterfeit confiscated by officers of the Liberian National Police was found to be understated by the actual amount reported in court on Wednesday August 3.

Police authorities had actually announced and documented that they had arrested a Nigerian national Onyeka F. Nnameni with LRD 200,000 fake money, according to their charge sheet.
But in open court at the Monrovia City Court on Wednesday, court officers along with police court liaison officers discovered LRD57, 600 more in cash, with shortages in the LRD10,000 bundles stashed together.

Nnameni was on Wednesday sent to court along with L$257,600 counterfeit on charges of forgery, counterfeiting, facilitating of counterfeiting, economic sabotage and money laundering, after he was arrested by joint security agents at Bo-Waterside, bordering neighboring Sierra Leone.

The police charge sheet accused Nnameni of conveying L$200,000 counterfeit, but court officers realized a total of L$257,600 cash on hand, far above the amount contained in the very charge sheet that accompanied the defendant at the Monrovia City Court.

Joint security operatives assigned at Bo-Waterside Port of Entry were said to have arrested Nnameni on 27 July while en-route to Monrovia from the Sierra Leonean side of the border with counterfeit concealed in a television set.

The television was also concealed in a red and white box, the police said, adding that the joint security operatives discovered the counterfeit while inspecting the box in question. “… It was realized that the defendant criminally concealed within the television counterfeit two hundred thousand Liberian dollars ($200,000.00 LRD) in the denomination of 100 (bills) in four assorted series numbers: (EE7250062, EE7101800, EE2401012 and EE7414676),” a police charge sheet says.

After being arrested and transferred to Police Central Headquarters in Monrovia, investigators say the defendant was represented by Cllr. James Innis, Jr. from the Sherman and Sherman Law firm and allegedly admitted to committing the crimes following thorough investigation.

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Defendant Nnameni had allegedly conspired with co-suspect Amandi and others yet to be identified by police to defraud the government and people of Liberia. Police said forensic analysis conducted on the counterfeit money through the use of “the Late 825 high velocity light (HV-Light) test indicated that all of the $200,000.00LD lacked security features like Micro-printing, color-shifting ink and others.”

He had allegedly implicated suspect Amandi while allegedly admitting to police investigation, claiming that Amandi and others were his accomplices in the scheme. This paper could not establish where exactly defendant Nnameni was taken immediately after the court had taken custody of him and the counterfeit money, as he and other defendants held for some other unrelated cases were cuffed together and walked towards the Police Central Headquarters under police escort.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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