Politics News

Surety misplaces original documents

MatildaparkerSuspended National Port Authority Managing Director Matilda Parker’s surety – the Family Dollars Universal Insurance Services Incorporated – says it has “misplaced” the original copies of its tax clearance as well as business registration, except for their photocopies displayed in court Tuesday, 4 August.

The Family Dollars Universal Insurance Services incorporated is representing indicted NPA Managing Director Madam Parker and NPA Comptroller Christina Kpabar-Paelay in an economic sabotage trial at the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

The two officials were jointly indicted along with NPA comptroller Mr. Deneah M. Flomo who is also a sole proprietor of Denmar Enterprise for economic sabotage, theft of property and criminal conspiracy. At his second appearance Tuesday, the Surety’s underwriter witness George Gbormoi, Sr. testified that he searched “all over” and could not find the original copies of the company’s tax clearance, business registration – after prosecutors earlier declined Monday, 3 August to cross-examine the witness on the basis of photocopies.

But the court, however, granted defense’s request and marked the instruments including certificates from the Central Bank of Liberia, Ministry of Transport, business registration, tax clearance and article of incorporation as part of the court’s records.

Witness Gbormoi maintained that the Family Dollars Insurance Company met all of the requirements set by government agencies and institutions, including the financial regulating body, the CBL to operate here as insurance company.

He repeated that before the company could be certificated and qualified to operate, it presented US$450,000 and US$300,000 in asset and the reinsurance treaty of US$750,000, denying prosecution’s claims that the Family Dollars has filed bonds in the tune of US$5m.

Prosecution had earlier questioned the Family Dollars Insurance Company’s asset value to determine as to whether it commensurate with the value of US$1.2m it filed for defendant Parker and Paeley.

In terms of Family Dollars’ assets, the prosecution had expressed concerned that witness Gbormoi had only spoken of what the surety value presented to the CBL in 2014 to qualify as an insurance company, saying such information may not be the same today.

The court however ruled Tuesday, sustaining the defense’s objection because the “reassurance” cover note which contains 70 percent “quota share,” subject to a maximum of US$525,000 was “an asset” which had economic value.

Presiding Criminal Court “C” Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh said the reinsurance cover note dated December 24, 2014 which reassured the Family Dollars Universal Insurance Services Incorporated contained among other things, appearance bond and appeal bond.

The suspended officials Madam Parker and Paeley were indicted for allegedly conspiring with co-defendant Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise to defraud government of US$837,950 between July 2011 and December 2012.

They allegedly awarded defendant Flomo and his Denmar Enterperise contracts valued US$500,000 and US$300,000 respectively, to remove wrecks from the Port of Greenville in Sinoe County and to provide security consultancy at the ports of Monrovia, Buchanan and Greenville on behalf of the NPA.

But prosecutors claimed in the indictment that defendant Flomo and his Denmar Enterprise did not possess expertise in regards to the contracts awarded him, and that the required services were not rendered to the NPA under the contracts worth US$800,000. By Winston W. Parley – Edited Othello B. Garblah

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