LRA Fires Its Free Port Security Supervisor For Collusion

LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has dismissed its security supervisor assigned at the Freeport of Monrovia for the act of collusion, thereby undermining the collection of lawful revenue for the Liberian people.

Mr. Melvin Tolbert was fired after investigation proved that he collaborated with a container importer and a customs broker, Amandou Diallo, to allow a broken-seal container leave the Freeport Monrovia without inspection and customs assessment.

The container which Mr. Tolbert allowed to leave the port without inspection belongs to Jeneba Bussiness Center and was marked MSKU-188935-1, with a BIVAC seal broken and rejoined.

On June 9, 2017, the LRA received information from a whistleblower that LRA Security staff and other Customs Officers assigned at the Freeport Customs Business Office (CBO) were receiving bribe to allow broken-seal containers to exit the port without inspection.

‘Tolbert and Amandou Diallo, Customs Broker of the Jeneba Bussiness Center, knowingly conspired to allow the broken and re-joined seal container to exit the Freeport without inspection,’ an LRA Professional Ethics Division investigation noted.

While Tolbert claimed he did not know the cell number of Amadu, his (Tolbert’s) telephone call log showed that he was in constant telephone conversation with Amadu.

While in search of the said container on a rainy Saturday morning, the LRA dismissed security supervisor (who was part of the search team) did not   provide adequate information to his professional colleagues about the location of the broken seal container.

Also on the very day of the search and while the search was ongoing, Tolbert was in contact with Amadu 13 times between 7am-6:06pm. It was a result of the whistle blower providing assistance that the container was found on Saturday. The Container was returned to the Port. Upon inspection of the Container the following undeclared goods were discovered. See matrix below.

LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, upon reviewing the PED report, instructed the immediate termination of Tolbert’s employment, as his act grossly violate the professional ethics code of the LRA, while at the same time undermining legitimate revenue collection efforts. Meanwhile, Broker Amadu will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice for appropriate prosecution.

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About Cholo Brooks 16156 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.