LIBERIA: Czech Republic Ex-Consul General Ordered Arrested By Criminal Court ‘C’ In US$5M

Mr. Singbeh (left) and Mr. Sochor (right) to face prosecution over the alleged US$5M scandal.

Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice on Monday, July 20 ordered an arrest warrant and may likely asked the government of the Czech Republic for help in extraditing that country’s former consul general to Liberia, Karel Sochor, to be tried over the alleged disappearance of over US$5 million from the operation of a Czech-Liberian Company, MHM EKO, a rock-crushing company.

The court arrest order also includes two other Czech nationals, Alex Sramek and Peter Pesek.

Sochor was the managing director of the MHM EKO when the money allegedly went missing between 2013 and 2017. However, extraditing Sochor, Pesek and Sramek, the former financial director/treasurer of the company and a former employee of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), remain a major challenge, because there is no treaty between Liberia and the Czech Republic. Gloria Caine, the former secretary, who is also indicted, in the United States.

The court order, copy of which in the possession of the Daily Observer reads, “you are hereby ordered to arrest the living bodies of Karel Socher, Alex Scranmek and Peter Pesek, defendants on the attachment writ of arrest and the indictment, and forthwith bring them before this Honorable Court, first Judicial Circuit Court, Criminal Assizes ‘C’ sitting in its May Term AD 2020,” to undergo prosecution.”

The writ further ordered, “If the arrest is effected after the court’s working day and hour (Monday through Friday, 8Am to 4PM), you are further ordered to detain them at the nearest Police Station until the next working day and hour at which time you shall have brought them to this court.”

The money in question was intended for the operation of the company, situated in Seeke Town, District#4 in Margibi County, according to the indictment secured by the government against the Czech defendants.

The indictment further alleged that Sochor withdrew US$667,500 from the company’s account at the EcoBank-Liberia and US$85,000 also at the Afriland First Bank-Liberia, totaling US$753,000, in which funds Sockor withdrew and could not produce a single crushed rock for the company to sell since 2013 up to and including 2017.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Senate J. Nanborlor Singbeh, former president and chairman of the company’s board of directors, who holds 30 percent of a total of 100 shares had already secured a criminal appearance bond that prevented him from being sent to the Monrovia Central Prison, shortly after he surrendered himself to the court.

The remaining 70 percent shares are split equally between two Czech Republic nationals, Pavel Miloschewsky and Martin Miloschewsky, holding 35 percent each. Brothers Pavel and Martin are now seeking the prosecution of their fellow Czech nationals, Sochor, Sramek and Pesek.

Source: DO

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About Cholo Brooks 13510 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.