MONROVIA, March 7 (LINA) –Liberians have been expressing mixed views about the report on the alleged missing L$16 billion and the subsequent arrest of some former and current officials of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL).
Speaking to the Liberia News Agency, several individuals and groups, including students, marketers and religious leaders in Central Monrovia, expressed satisfaction about the outcome of the report and the series of arrests made thus far by the government.
They praised the government for its integrity in keeping the promise to fight corruption as was contained in President George Weah’s inaugural speech in January 2018.
They also lauded both investigative teams for clearing the doubts in the minds of Liberians about the alleged missing L$16 billion banknotes.
The citizens, however, recommended that those linked to the act be prosecuted according to the laws of the state in order to discourage corruption in the country.
Following the release of the report, Charles Sirleaf, son of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is Deputy Governor for Operations at the CBL, and Dorbor Hagba, Director of Banking, were arrested.
The former Governor of the Central Bank, Milton Weeks, also turned himself in to the Police as part of the dragnet for alleged culprits.
The arrests were based upon numerous violations allegedly committed during the printing and shipment of L$15.5 billion banknotes, according to the reports that were released by the Presidential Investigation Team and the USAID-funded Kroll Associates which probed the alleged missing money matter.
Outlining the violations in the report, Mr. Alex Cuffey of the PIT stated that the Central Bank of Liberia printed L$15.5 billion, a hefty L$10 billion above the L$5 billion that was authorized by the National Legislature.
The investigation also found that the CBL printed around L$18 billion in total, with over L$2.6 billion in excess of the L$16 billion the probe was intended to decipher.
The trio is expected to throw more light on the issue of the overpayment of the Crane AB company, printers of the currency, which was not authorized by the Legislature, and was also outside of the terms and conditions of the contract, among others.
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