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Yekeh Korluba double down on “missing 16Bn”

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Montserrado County Electoral District#10 Representative Yekeh Korluba double down on the “missing 16 billion” Monday rejecting call from members of the Presidential Investigative Team or PIT on public officials to refrain from commenting on the alleged missing 16 billion Liberian banknotes.

The PIT is investigating circumstances surrounding the missing banknotes, which actual amount has been an issue of debate here.But the Central Bank of Liberia, which in a press statement last week, denied there were missing containers and bags of moneys, confirmed the Government of Liberia printed 15.5 billion new Liberian banknotes for the period 2016 – 2018.

“The Central Bank of Liberia wants to clarify to the general public and our partners in progress that there is no 16 Billion Liberian Dollars missing, as has been erroneously reported in the media. The CBL has no records showing that monies printed under its authority have not yet been delivered into its reserve vaults. Records from Crane Currency of Sweden, which was contracted to print the money, show that Crane delivered 15.5 billion through the Freeport of Monrovia and the Roberts International Airport between 2016 and 2018, and that all these monies were logged by the CBL and delivered into the vaults of the CBL” reads a statement issued by the new Executive Governor of the CBL Nathanial R. Patray.

However, Representative Korlubah in an angry tone Monday, 8 October when he appeared on Sky Fm notes that if anyone must shut up, that person should be the Head of the Financial Intelligence Unit Alex Cuffy.According to him, the ongoing investigation has been compromised, because the money alleged was eaten.

The Montserrado District#10 lawmaker argues the FIU boss has no authority to tell anyone to shut up.It remains unclear what could be a reaction from Mr. Cuffy or members of the PIT on claims that the investigation has been compromised, but the PIT warns government officials not to make inflammatory comments that could undermine the process.

At the Ministry of Information press briefing last Thursday, the Team called on officials here to refrain from making remarks that will undermine the investigation.The PIT is comprised of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, (LACC) the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Liberia National Police (LNP).

“We ask the government to give us not less than six weeks as a timeframe to unveil our findings” says Alex Cuffy, who is also coordinator for the investigative team.He says as part of the investigation, the Team will review the authorization of printing of money and other currencies, saying “We’re also looking into accountability of Liberian dollars bank notes, foreign currency, foreign exchange, and auction and the infusion into the economy of the 25 million dollars recently.”

By Lewis S. Teh

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