As Liberians continue to ponder over the mysterious disappearance of Sixteen Billion Liberian Dollars (LD16 Billion) or One Hundred and Four Million United States Dollars $104 Million) without any hint as to its whereabouts, and the continues contradictions amongst government officials on the missing billions, Liberians who were expected to be the direct beneficiaries of the missing moneys are questioning the sincerity of those in authority.
Since the alleged missing of Sixteen Billion Liberian Dollars in thin air via the National Port Authority and the Roberts International Airport was reported and confirmed by the Ministry of Justice and publicly released by the Ministry of Information after it was discovered and exposed by a local daily, The Hot Pepper newspaper, the Minister of Finance, Development and Planning, Mr. Samuel Tweah rubbished the information noting that the money in question is not missing, but declined to state the whereabouts of the Liberian people’s money.
Minister Tweah’s insinuation that the money is not missing despite of report that investigation is being conducted by several groups including the Liberia National Police (LNP), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), has given rise to more questions than answers as to who is really in charge of the missing billions.
Recently several civil society groups in Liberia called for the immediate arrest of the Minister of Finance, Development and Planning, Samuel Tweah for his utterances in the wake of the missing money demonstrated that he was knowledgeable of the “money saga,” in order to assist with the ongoing investigations since in fact he has informed the Liberian people that the money in question is not missing.
Speaking at a press conference recently, Mr. Jefferson Knight said “Minister Tweah is saying that nothing has happened as far as such a huge money is concerned and, therefore, we should go back to business as usual,” Knight said.
Mr. Knight said the Finance Minister must be arrested or suspended so that he can form part of the investigation, “Because he knows where the money is, and should therefore be made to explain about it.”
Knight said the disappearance of the money was a high degree of criminality and one of the worst economic crimes that Liberia has experienced in recent history, “especially when the people are grappling with the current harsh economic situation.”
“Let me make it clear that any attempt to compromise this case will be resisted by the Liberian people, because it is necessary that President George Weah takes some punitive measures to save the state from bleeding,” he said.
In another related development, information gathered by this news outlet has disclosed that in order to thwart the efforts of the ongoing investigation for the missing billions, huge cash has been distributed to certain media institutions as a means to appease them from reporting the facts surrounding the missing money, according to our source at the Ministry.