Liberia's "missing millions": Charles Sirleaf accused

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Charles Sirleaf (center) is brought to a court in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: 4 March 2019image rights
AFP / Getty Images

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Charles Sirleaf (center) is detained until his trial

The son of Liberia's ex-president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been charged with economic sabotage in connection with the illegal printing of millions of dollars in local currencies.

Charles Sirleaf is suspected to have paid part of the proceeds in the years 2016 to 1818. At that time he was Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.

Four other former bank officials were also charged. Two of them are on the run.

The defendants have not commented on the allegations so far.

An independent report on the missing millions was released last week.

Liberia, one of the world's poorest nations, is struggling with rampant corruption.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the West African country from 2006 to 2018, was brought to economic stability after years of conflict.

What about the fees?

On Monday, Mr Sirleaf, former bank chief Milton Weeks and banker Dorbor Hagba were charged with economic sabotage, abuse of public funds and criminal conspiracy.

image rights
Reuters

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A report examined the alleged disappearance of newly printed Liberian banknotes worth over 100 million US dollars

A judge in the capital, Monrovia, ordered her to be in jail until her trial.

Attorneys for the defendants have not responded to the allegations.

The other two defendants, who are still the defendants, were referred to as Richard Walker and Joseph Dennis.

What did the report find?

The eagerly awaited report was prepared by the accounting firm Kroll.

Last year, the alleged disappearance of over 100 million dollars (75 million pounds) of newly printed Liberian banknotes was investigated.

It was widely reported that bins with banknotes from the port and the airport of Monrovia had disappeared.

However, the report found no evidence that this happened.

Instead, she noted that the central bank of Liberia had acted unilaterally and illegally by printing and importing three times as much money into the country as was authorized.