LIBERIA: The Arrest Of Government Officials By FBI Worries Many, As Others Want It Happen

Recent report aired on a local radio station that the United States based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working out modality to chase those who are allegedly plundering into the coffer of Liberia, Africa’s oldest Republic which lacks infrastructure development despite of its natural resources to be arrested.

The local radio station, The Voice FM in one of its call-in programs disclosed that Liberians who have chosen to live a corrupt life by enriching themselves by siphoning millions of United States dollars were being targeted for this reported FBI alleged planned action.

Liberians who called in this one hour program welcomed the reported planned decision by the FBI to arrest those allegedly linked to the mismanagement of the nation’s wealth, and investing in foreign countries with whatever they have siphoned from their home country, Liberia.

Today the GNN took off time to conduct series of sampling views as to the feedback from the public on this reported FBI’s threat against Liberian Corrupt officials.

“I am indeed overwhelmed of this news, and want it to happen even now. These rogues have find pleasure to steal Liberia’s money. The other day I read in a local daily that one of our Government officials bought a house in the United States for US$600,000.00 can you imagine that while we back home are suffering?” Mary Kollie a Liberian businesswoman speaking to our staff expressed her frustration.

During this survey, majority who spoke to the GNN called for the prosecution of those linked to the misuse of Liberia’s taxpayers’ money.

But for others speaking on this issue, said the Liberian leader should be held responsible for all of these, noting that she has refused to chastise those accused of corruption despite of public outcry, and the submission those government officials names by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).

This revelation by a local radio station on the effort by the FBI to arrest those misapplying the country resources has spread out in Liberia like bushfire with some Liberian hailing this move, calling for its immediate implementation.

Last years an indictment was unsealed yesterday charging Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, a/k/a “Jucontee Thomas Smith,” 68, of Collingdale, Pennsylvania, with lying on his application for U.S. citizenship by not disclosing his alleged affiliation with a violent political group in Liberia, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Woewiyu is charged with seven counts of perjury, two counts of fraudulently attempting to obtain citizenship, four counts of fraud in immigration documents, and three counts of false statements in relation to naturalization.

According to the indictment, Woewiyu was residing in the U.S. when he formed the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL) to advocate against the regime of Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe in Liberia. Woewiyu, and others, also formed the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) a military organization committed to the violent overthrow of the Doe government. The ACDL provided funding to the NPFL. In 1990, a splinter group captured and executed Doe. The NPFL, however, persisted with a brutal campaign for control of the country. An attack in October of 1992 by NPFL forces left scores of residents of Monrovia dead. According to the indictment, Woewiyu presided as NPFL minister of defense during a brutal military campaign during which perceived adversaries were tortured, civilians were executed, girls and women were raped and forced into sex slavery, and humanitarian aid workers were murdered.

In his application for U.S. citizenship, Woewiyu responded that he had not ever advocated for the overthrow of any government by force or violence and that he had never persecuted any person because of race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 110 years’ imprisonment, a $4 million fine, not more than three years’ supervised release, and a $1,600 special assessment.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linwood C. Wright, Jr.

An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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