Confirmation by the United States Embassy near Monrovia that it has received a request from the Government of Liberia to assist with ongoing investigation on the whereabouts of 16 billion Liberian bank notes that allegedly went missing from the Freeport of Monrovia and the Roberts International Airport, respectively is welcoming news.
The Government of Liberia and Liberians generally are confused how containers and bags of moneys printed abroad and brought into the country allegedly disappeared in thin air without trace. The authorities here have been providing conflicting information about the actual figure in question with the Minister of Information Lenn Eugene Nagbe revealing 16 billion LRD, while the Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah says it is far less, putting the amount at 1.5 billion.
On the other hand, the former executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia Milton Weeks and members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature many of whom are in the 54th Legislature seem to be in words of war over how much money was authorized to be printed. Ex-governor Weeks claims he was mandated to print 10 Billion Liberian bank notes, but the 53rd Legislature says it authorized the printing of 5 Billion LRD.
The fingers-pointing and contradicting accounts about the missing moneys have made the entire situation messy, leaving the public confused and apprehensive whether the ongoing investigation would produce any tangible result.
But the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia says, “This request for assistance was transmitted to the relevant U.S. Government agencies in Washington for further review.”
The Government of Liberia is seeking assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. State Department, among others, to get to the bottom of the worst financial crime ever in the country’s history.
We welcome the acknowledgement from the U.S. Embassy here and the ongoing effort to accordingly respond to the Government of Liberia. We believe strongly if the U.S. Government is involved with the current investigation the truth or facts about the cartel would be exposed, and those responsible brought to justice.
Many Liberians are doubtful whether the ongoing investigation by the Liberian government on the money saga is being done with sincerity, especially giving the way the Police are going after suspects, leaving out the board of governors at the CBL, even officers within the LNP itself who reportedly escorted the 20-foot containers from the Freeport of Monrovia are not being called in for questioning.
The only hope in getting the facts lies with the involvement of America, Liberia’s historical and traditional friend. We need the FBI and U.S. State Department to assist with the investigation to take us to a reliable lead to the perpetrators or else, the blame-game will continue.
As unfolding development seems to indicate, no one, not even the current government of President George Weah or ex-president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is willing to accept responsibility for the missing moneys. Someone must account within the confines of professional investigation and we need the Americans to help.