The Liberia Anti Corruption Commission Investigative Report About The Controversial 25 Million Mop Up Exercise Carried Out By The Ministry Of Finance And Other Government Agencies Has Surface Citing Several Discrepancies And Irregularities In The Implementation Of The Mop-Up Exercise.

At long last an investigative report done by the LACC about the controversial 25 million mop up exercise carried out by the ministry of finance and other government agencies has surfaces citing several discrepancies and irregularities in the implementation of the mop-up exercise.

As it can be recall the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) was mandated On May 28, 2019 by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) through a communication (ref. FMD/M-AG/MOJ/178/’19/RL) signed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Republic of Liberia, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Jr., to launch a full scale investigation into matters and issues emanating from the General Auditing Commission (GAC)’s Audit Report entitled “On Applying the Agreed Upon Procedures of the US$ 25 Million Mop-up Exercise conducted by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) as mandated by the Technical Economic Management Team (TEMT)

Upon receipt of the GAC’s Audit Report from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the LACC Investigation Team immediately carried out an assessment of the report to establish probable cause for a full scale corruption investigation into matters and issues emanating from the said report. 

Assessment of the GAC’s Audit Report shows that US$ 25 million was approved by the Government of Liberia (GoL) on July 16, 2018 to enable the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) intervene in the foreign exchange market for the purpose of stabilizing the exchange rate between the Liberian and United States dollars; and to mop-up excess Liberian dollars liquidity from the market. Accordingly, the said amount was to be drawn on the CBL International Foreign Exchange Reserve Account held at the Federal Bank of New York in the United States of America (USA).

The GAC’s Audit Report indicates that there is no evidence that support the withdrawal of US$25 million from the CBL International Foreign Exchange Reserve Account held with the Federal Bank of New York in relation to the US$25Million Mop-up Exercise; rather the said amount was drawn on the CBL Operational United States dollars (USD) account held at the CBL Head Office in Monrovia, Liberia.

The GAC’s Audit Report shows that, of the Two hundred eighty one (281) businesses the CBL recorded to have transacted business with during the mop-up exercise, fifteen (15) of the business refuted participation, twenty seven (27) were not registered as required by law, fifty two (52) was inaccessible as they could not be located and/or response to their telephone calls or text messages while eight (8) was not in operation during the audit field visit.

The report indicates that there is a variance of US$1,839,529.54 between the amounts sold as per the summary report provided by the CBL for beneficiaries and the amounts actually confirmed by the beneficiaries, while eighty-nine (89) beneficiaries with total amount of US$5,670,880.00 could not confirm the amounts transacted with the CBL in United States Dollars.

The GAC’s Audit report also shows that there is a variance of LR$108,928,788.37 between the amounts in the summary report (LRD portion) per beneficiary as presented by the CBL and that of the amount confirmed by the beneficiaries.

The GAC’s Audit report also shows that the CBL Cash Officer Records for the CBL Mop-up Teams (one, two and three) reconciled accurately with the teams Pay-In-Slips while the records of Teams four, five and six show a variance of LR$361,820.00.

The report shows that the special Mop-Up Escrow Account was opened on July 19, 2018; three days after the commencement of the mop-up exercise and an examination of the bank statement of the Account shows that the initial deposit into the account occurred on August 17, 2018; one month after the commencement of the exercise.

The report also indicates that the CBL Special Liberian Dollars Mop-Up Escrow Account shows that the amount of LR$ 2,303,363,898.00 was transferred to the Operational Vault of the CBL whereas the CBL in a Press Statement dated March 5, 2019 indicated that LR$ 1,300,000,000.00 was transferred from the Liberia Dollars Special Escrow Account to the operational vault for re-infusion into the economy.

The assessment of the GAC’s Audit Report as indicated above shows enormous discrepancies and irregularities in the implementation of the mop-up exercise, thus raising suspicion of corruption. Hence, a criminal investigation was recommended and subsequently approved by the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the LACC to make a determination of criminal culpability, thus leading the LACC to commencing its investigation On May 30, 2019 and subsequent writing the office of the Auditor General R/L requesting all relevant documentations which support the findings of the GAC’s Audit Report relating to the implementation of the US$25 million mop-up exercise for the purpose of aiding the investigation.

THE INVESTIGATION

Analysis of interviews conducted, statements collected as well as documents received from the CBL indicate that the decision to infuse US$ 25 million in the foreign exchange market for the purpose of stabilizing the exchange rate between the Liberian and United States dollars; and that of the decision to use the Direct Mop-up Method and its immediate implementation, simultaneously took place on the same day (July 16, 2018). And commencement of the mop-up started immediately the next day (July 17, 2018), thus leaving little or no time for proper planning on the part of the CBL to undertake such a technical and sensitive economic tasks which has national security implications for the economy of the country.

Based on the findings from the investigation by the LACC, it was recommended that the Seven (7) core members of the TEMT, in the discharge of their duties as policy advisory body, and without any caution exercise poor economic judgment in endorsing the ‘Direct Mop-up Method’ contrary to conventional practices as outline in the CBL Foreign Exchange Sale Auction Rules and Regulations. And thereby defeating the intent and objective of the entire process; it is hereby recommended that the President of the Republic of Liberia review and the configuration of the TEMT and consider restructuring to include more technical people who are experts in contemporary financial and economic development policies.     

Meanwhile the investigative team at the LACC recommended that they should be charged and prosecuted following the violation of Section 12.34 (Tempering with Public Records) of the Penal Law of Liberia

Section 15.80 (d) (Economic Sabotage) of the Penal Law of Liberia

Section 3.5 (Accountability) of the Code of Conduct for Public Officials and Employees of Government.

for years now citizens of the republic of Liberia have waited for the 25million united states dollars mop up report, it is said that the report has since been completed for a long time now, and was about to be released when former Cllr. Now Mr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike  was appointed chairman of the anti-corruption agency and a sudden freeze was placed on this report, not only have the report been frozen, investigations unveiled that, there is works in the pipeline to have this damaging report revisited,

In 14 days, two weeks from now, the NATION will be officially receiving the report officially from the LACC, there will be a need to compare and contrast both reports and validate was about to be released a year ago, but was held up as the chairman was appointed the same week, whatever caused the hold up, Liberians will now be able to evaluate, but for the discrepancies identified during the investigation of the 16billion Liberian dollar saga, investigators stumbled on several items, thus leading to the investigation which had remained opened ended, but http//myimagetvonline.video,blog investigative team, are continuing a full pursuit to the end.

Published by Image Builders Liberia

Image Builders Liberia is a not-for-profit with focus on people that are vulnerable in society. We aim to create a place where they can obtain optimum benefit and contribute to the growth and development of their communities.

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