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U.S. investigators visit Capitol

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United States – sponsored investigative experts from USAID that are charged to investigate Liberia’s alleged missing $15.5 billion dollars visited the Capitol Building in Monrovia Wednesday, 17 October for the first time.

The U.S. has announced that it will help Liberia investigate claims of missing $15.5 billion of local currency, but it is not clear whether the experts’ visit is the commencement of the investigation or a courtesy visit to the Legislature.

Well – dressed and very quiet looking experts entered Liberia’s Capitol Building Wednesday, visiting House Speaker Bhofal Chambers’ office and later inviting those that they may consider ‘interest to the investigation’ to talk on the first floor in the conference room of the main building of the Capitol.

In attendance at the meeting with the U.S. investigators were Deputy Speaker Prince Moye, the Chief Clarke of the House of Representatives and some key members of the 53rd Legislature and it lasted for over an hour.

Though reporters tried to pose few questions to the experts, but the investigators left the Capitol Building Wednesday unnoticed.The facility has several entry and exit points, especially with two new annexes now added by the Chinese government’s aid project to Liberia.

Legislators who had attended the meeting with the U.S. investigators remain tight-lipped when reporters tried to pose questions.Information gathered so far indicates that Montserrado County Representative Thomas Fallah, who chairs the House’s Public Accounts Committee should have attended, but it appears that he is currently out of the country.

Earlier, the media advisor to Speaker Chambers, Mr. Bobby Addison had hinted the media to be ready to engage the U.S. experts, but the variables changed suddenly without Mr. Addison giving reason.However, there are thoughts already out there that the entry of the U.S. experts could be the start of the investigation here.

There have been conflicting accounts about the authorization of the printing of $15.5 billion Liberian Dollars.Some say the 53rd Legislature gave authorization during former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s regime, while others are arguing that the authorization was only for the printing of just $5 billion Liberian Dollars.

On September 19, the government said it sent a request to the United States for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate the alleged $15 billion scandal here.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley

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