FIU Brags Over Suspension Of LBDI Official, Despite Criticisms From Financial Experts –Part II

Boastfully posted on its website of the suspension of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) Vice President for Compliance and Investment, Mr. Oday G. Vaye for a period of one month without pay, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) appears to be bragging of the action, even though the bank continues to say it was coerce to do so.

The FIU alleged that Mr. Vaye had breached and violated the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Regulation (STR) for what it termed, “Late and incomplete filing of the STR when it was needed,” has been criticized by many financial experts who spoke to this writer, noting that the action on the part of the FIU was hostile and against human dignity, stressing that the action of Mr. Vaye not filing his report to the FIU was not intentional and also not criminal.

“According to information Mr. Vaye’s failure to meet up with the FIU Suspicious Transaction Reporting Regulation or STR deadline within three days was a result of the death of his Mother in Nimba County; he was granted an excuse by his immediate employer, the LBDI during that period he missed his obligation with the FIU authority. This is not a crime to miss such an appointment,” Nathaniel Gayflor a financial analyst with a local bank in a chat with the GNN said in an exclusive interview with our staff.

What also ponder lots of people who did talk to the GNN a day ago on this issue questioned the management of the FIU for taken such a hostile stance against Mr. Vaye through the LBDI, and wondered why not the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), “This is the first time that the alleged action proffered by the FIU against Mr. Vaye is committed.

Other arguments and questions raised by financial experts on this issue were, if Mr. Vaye was guilty of the act has it is been perceived by the FIU, why did the FIU not impose a fine which should be in CASH, and said be paid through the Central Bank of Liberia, and why did the FIU reportedly coerce the management of the LBDI to suspend its official, the Vice President for Compliance and Intelligence, Mr. Oday Gbreadyee Vaye.

However, some others who spoke to the GNN on the issue relating to the suspension of Mr. Vaye, expressed concern wondering as to the reason behind this drama by the Financial Intelligence Unit asking the management of the LBDI to suspend its senior official without first informing the National Bank of Liberia (CBL) which is clothe with the authority to receive such complain as chairperson of the Board of Directors of the FIU.

The Board shall formulate and ensure the implementation of policies necessary for the achievement of the objective of antimony laundering and terrorist financing laws, and oversee the implementation of anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism policies in Liberia.

“67.5. Section 2. Suspicious transaction reporting or STR, states that the FIU shall: (a) require financial institutions, designated nonfinancial businesses and professions, and State entities to submit a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) within 3 days to the FlU if they suspect or have reasonable grounds to suspect that any property is related to, intended for use in, or linked in any other way to money laundering or its predicate offences, proceeds of crime, or terrorism, terrorist acts or terrorist organizations, or is to be used for terrorism, terrorist acts”

With all of these conditions put forward, the public is still questioning the rationale behind the suspension of Mr. Vaye, and further wondering of its outcome at the end of the day.

GNN is still making all endless efforts to contact the leadership of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to getting its reaction to the concerns being expressed by Liberians and financial experts on the reported coercing of the LBDI management to suspend its Vice President for Compliance and Investment.

Investigation continues

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About Cholo Brooks 13354 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.