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Update on 16bn probe today

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The Liberian Government announces that it will provide update to the public today, Thursday, 4 October from ongoing investigation surrounding alleged missing 16 billion Liberian Dollars.

The pronouncement via mobile on OK Fm Wednesday afternoon, 3 October comes after both President George Manneh Weah and his newly appointed Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor Nathaniel Patray announced this week that no money went missing ahead of the outcome of the investigation.

Mr. Weah on Monday ruled out the possibility of money being missing under his regime, but suggested it may be during former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s regime.

Subsequently, the CBL on Tuesday announced that no money was missing, telling the public that L$15.5 billion printed and brought into the country between 2016 and 2018 were all delivered in CBL vaults.

But the Bank’s account is receiving mixed – reactions here, with some wondering as to why it took over a month for the Bank to establish that it had the money in its vaults while current and past officials continue to trade blames over who was responsible for the alleged missing money.

However some people are saying it is highly unlikely that today’s update from the special investigative team set up by President Weah will contradict the president and the CBL’s conclusions that no money is missing.According to Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon, all journalists are invited to today’s update from the investigation at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill.

Beside a Justice Ministry statement in September that investigation was being conducted surrounding this matter, current Information Minister Eugene Nagbe told the BBC that there were no records that the banknotes in question were delivered to the central bank or had been put into circulation.

The current regime suggested that ahead of its inception on 22 January this year, the money was brought into the country in November 2017 during former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s rule and President George Manneh Weah’s administration was not informed about it.

Responses from the various government officials here pushed former President Sirleaf to speak out, saying no money was missing and challenged the Justice Ministry to release the CBL report.

In the wake of unfolding events here, Mrs. Sirleaf’s former Information Minister Dr. Lawrence Bropleh proferred some advices to the Weah regime Wednesday, 3 October to have a well coordinated and synchronized government communication strategy.

Provoked by the alleged missing billions issue, Mr. Weah vowed this week that whoever took the money would be made to return it or face the weight of law.In case the investigation establishes that there is no missing money, Mr. Weah also threatens to get journalists who reported such story to come forward to answer questions as to why they made such statement that “can bring war.”

“So those journalists that said that 16 billion lost and nine billion lost, they also going to be in the investigation,” President Weah says amidst cheers from supporters.

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