Liberian Gov’t Invites US Treasury, FBI To Join Currency Probe
The Liberian government has requested the assistance of the U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to join in the investigation into the whereabouts of banknotes estimated at 16 billion Liberian dollars.
The government has also invited the National Bar Association; National Civil Society Organization; Association of Liberia Certified Public Accountants; Liberia Council of Churches and National Muslim Council of Liberia to join the exercise.
A statement issued on Wednesday said the action was in response to public calls for greater transparency, independence and inclusion in the ongoing investigation of monetary developments in Liberia.
The government noted that this investigation is to adequately account for all flows of monies printed and brought into the country between 2016 and 2018.
The findings of the investigation, the statement indicated, will be critical to the formulation and implementation of a credible and robust monetary and microeconomic policy in the years ahead.
On Tuesday, the Liberian government issued a National Security Circular advising persons of interest who are required to assist with the ongoing investigation into circumstances surrounding the importation of Liberian dollar banknotes between November 2017 and August, 2018, not to leave the country.
The Government says it takes the ongoing investigation seriously because it has National Security implications.
Authorities at all points of entry/exit, including land borders, air and sea ports have been directed to take due cognizance of the circular.
It listed 15 individuals, including current and former staff of the Central Bank of Liberia, to cooperate with the probe.
Earlier Tuesday, Information Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe told a local radio that the Liberian government wanted to “get to the bottom” of the matter, and that anyone culpable will be prosecuted.
The Information Minister assured that “if the investigation uncovers that there was criminality in the printing of the money, the public will be informed and the culprit will be brought to book.”
“The government is doing everything possible to get to the bottom of this and if it is determined that some of the money was diverted for private use, the culprit will be handled in keeping with the law.”