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Where are my billions?

Charles Taylor Billion NDImprisoned ex-president Charles Taylor, says the lifting of economic sanctions imposed on him and his ex-officials some 11 years ago by the American government has dispelled rumors that he had billions stashed in foreign banks.

“He is saying the international community has accused him of stashing billions in foreign banks, but more than 11 years on has not been able to discover a dime,” Taylor’s aide said as he relay the telephone conversation on Tuesday November 17, when the New Dawn quizzed him about his reaction through one of his aides here.

Taylor who welcomed the lifting of the sanction, said although the sanctions (both UN and U.S) were imposed on him and his officials as a means of containing the situation here at the time but the motive was to oust him from power.

He said the lifting of the sanction after such a protracted period would reveal the truth to the Liberian people about his wealth. U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order Thursday November 12 removing the sanction imposed on Taylor and his allies. His move comes months after the UN lifted its sanction, which also included a travel ban and assets seizure on Taylor and his cronies.

Taylor is currently serving a 50-year jail sentence in a maximum security prison in the UK for war crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone In his letter notifying the U.S. Congress, President Obama said, Taylor’s imprisonment meant that sanctions were no longer necessary.

Taylor who launched his insurgency on December 24, 1989 to topple the late President Samuel Doe, had been linked to the sale of blood diamond and illicit timber trade to fund his decade long war here. He and his allies including foreign nationals were accused of siphoning billions of dollars worth of the country’s resources through illegal diamond and timber trades.

But Taylor had since maintained that he is poor, following his arrest and subsequent prosecution in The Hague. 

By Othello B. Garblah

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