The 45km ELWA–RIA Road, East International Group Incorporated – A Dossier of Revealing Tragedies about a Chinese-Liberian Mafia Company
By Martin K. N. Kollie |
East International Group Incorporated (EIGI) dubiously connived with high-ranking officials of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s government to rob Liberia and Liberians of millions of United States Dollars through road construction-related projects. This mafia syndicate has evolved once more under President George M. Weah. In it all, Liberia and Liberians have become victimized by this form of institutionalized corruption and systemic sabotage.
East International, a fraudulent company that does not even have a website to show any performance profile, is on the move again to engineer its usual scam and scheme against Liberia’s interest. This bogus company has been hired once more through dubious means to construct a 45km 4-lane ELWA–RIA Road costing up to US$101m. How could East International be hired when there was no any competitive bidding process? Such a glaring fraud violates Part 5 Section 47 of the PPCC Law.
To begin releasing this dossier of information on East International, I have endeavored to pose a set of fifteen (15) key hypothetical but very technical questions which are a reflection of due diligence and acceptable global standards:
Is East International credible and capable of implementing a US$101m Road Project?
Does East International have net assets of even up to US$5 million? What is their net worth?
Is East International insured or indemnified just in case of losses or if it defaults?
Is this company capable of acquiring an insurance bond or a performance bond of up to US$100 million? Or can they capable of security a material integrity bond? If yes, from whom?
In case of default or damages, who pays or bears such liability especially when East is not liquidated enough to cover up?
What and where is East Record of Performance? Does it have a resume which can prove its technical experience and professional capacity?
Does East International have a Website or Blog for us to investigate its past history of work in this area of building roads especially asphalt pavements?
Did GOL conduct any open competitive bidding process which is required by Law (Part 5 Section 47 of the PPCC Law?
How was this contract awarded to East International when there was no bidding process?
Who approved East’s Contract and on what basis was it approved?
How will this project be funded? From whom will East International source funding?
What capacity does East have in terms of manpower, logistics, partnership, and technical ability to do this project?
Can this project be achieved in 3 years with East International as Construction? Does East International have equipment of its own?
What and where are the credentials of engineers working with East International?
Does East International have a subsidiary or parent company?
Does East International have a “Sovereign Guarantee” from GOL? In case of default on any potential loan agreement entered into by East International, who takes responsibility or covers up for such contingent liability?
With immense research aided by very credible sources, especially foreign and local engineers including high-profile stakeholders in government, I have detailed this dossier of revealing tragedies and hard truths about East International in this sequence:
The East International Group Incorporated (EIGI) is a former Building Material Store. This mafia company came to Liberia in 2010 and it was located right at SD Cooper Junction Road in Paynesville City. East is not credible and capable of implementing this 45km 4-lane RIA–ELWA Road.
East International metamorphosed from a building material store to a construction company through dubious means in 2013. This HOAX (EIGI) began getting more road contracts in 2015/2017 under former Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The first road contract East International got was in 2013. The Government through the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) awarded EIGI this Contract to pave the Gaye Town Road. This scam was made possible by the Deputy Minister of MPW Victor Smith. The MPW engineers had to compel EIGI to redo the road because the concrete pavement was too slippery.
East International does not meet these basic standards which are required for a company obtain a road project or contract of over US$50 million:
Open Competitive Bidding
Bank Balance of at least US$50 million
Asphalt Pavers (at least 2)
D66 Front–End Loader
Motor Graders and Compactors
At least 5 Certified International Engineers including bridge, civil, and structural engineers.
Be registered and have a 5-year experience of working on highways.
East International Group International (EIGI) does not have equipment of its own. The few trucks and old yellow machines that were advertised or displayed during the groundbreaking ceremony on February 20, 2020 are owned by MDMC Construction Company. The owner of MDMC is Mr. John Youboty who is currently serving as the Treasurer of the ruling Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC).
EIGI is a joint venture (Chinese-Liberian Company). The General Manager of East International is a Liberian who has been fronting for two (2) elderly Chinese men since 2013. His name is Mr. Jakona Kelvin Buima. Kelvin attended the South China University of Technology. He was deported from China along with the son of the former NSA Director Fumba Sirleaf and two (2) others in 2012 after their involvement into an alleged gang rape case. Kelvin has had a closed link with former Public Works Deputy Minister Victor Smith and former Minister Gyude Moore. He is now closely connected to Min. Nathaniel McGill, Min. Samuel Tweah, and Min. Mabutu Nyenpan. This is a criminal syndicate – a network intended to rob Liberia of millions.
Through dubious schemes and without any regard for the 2010 PPCC Law, East International was awarded a whopping US$59.5 million Pre-Financing Loan Agreement with Sovereign Guarantee in 2017 to build 31 feeder roads in Montserrado and its environs. When this SCAM was ongoing, I raised alarm in 2017 through a number of analyses. East failed to build these road up to date. A few of the road East International should have built according to this Pre-Financing Agreement are:
The 24.5km road from Klay to DC Clarke Road on Bomi Highway
And a 51km stretch of Road in selected neighborhoods and communities in Monrovia and its environs including St. Michael Road, Chocolate City Road, VOA Road, Bilima Road, Batter Factory Road, etc.
The Contract to hire EIGI was done in Min. Nathaniel McGill’s office without the knowledge of the engineers at the Ministry of Public Works. The Deputy Minister for Technical Services of Public Works, Claude Langley, is even threatening to resign because he does not know how East International was even hired.
Through another criminal deal, East International managed to have secured a US$25 million loan from an unknown creditor. Based on the instruction of Pres. Weah and Min. McGill, this was how the money was used:
US$4m was used to pave Thinker’s Village Road;
US$3m for the road leading to Min. McGill’s Compound on RIA Highway;
US$6m for the road leading to President Weah’s Duplexes and Jamaica Lodge on RIA Highway;
US$1.5 million was used to pave Benson Hospital which was later condemned by MPW engineers;
The remaining was shared with East International as profit/workmanship and with “corrupt shareholders of EIGI” including Pres. Weah, Min. McGill, Min. Tweah, Min. Mabutu Nyenpan, etc.
This so-called Construction Company was unable to do a 2.4km road in Gbarnga City after being hired by local authorities of Bong County in 2016. Another US$1.35 million of tax-dollars was wasted. East International even messed up on the Gbarnga Broad Street Road. Follow this link and read: (https://bushchicken.com/citizens-accuse-gbarnga-street-pavement-contractor-of-substandard-work/);
I vehemently raised alarm against this HOAX of a Construction Company in 2017. I wrote series of analyses and communications to key functionaries of our government but no one could listen. Follow these links to read my analyses about this fraudulent company in East International. I wrote these analyses in 2017 warning Pres. EJS and her government not to consider East International Group Incorporated for any contract because it was not a credible company but they could not listen:
- a) https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1387058268051982&id=100002434674327
- b) https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1440732936017848&id=100002434674327;
In May of 2019, East International was hired to pave the Benson Hospital Road. After 2 months of working on this road, the crushed rock on this road started showing and residents began to complain. The engineers at the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) had to compel EIGI to redo this road. EIGI broke the concrete pavement and reconstructed the road in January 2020. There are photos to prove which I have also attached.
Some of the roads East International has messed up include but not limited to: The Redemption Road behind the Executive Mansion (it is not only slipper but two cars cannot pass in the curve at the same time), the ELWA Market Road, etc. On almost all of these roads, East International hired casual laborers to build roads with shovels and wheelbarrows. They do not even have basic equipment;
This fraudulent company has never done any “Highway Road” before. It does not have any experience or performance record of pavement highways. East International has no record of working on any road outside of Liberia. East International sometimes rent equipment and hire engineers from Liberian-owned companies. A few of the Liberian-owned companies that are far better than East International in terms of manpower, technical knowhow, and logistical capacity are:
Liberia-owned Companies have been sidelined under President George M. Weah and his confidants because his government has chosen to prioritize these Chinese and Lebanese Companies, which they have shares in:
Sidani Construction Company (Labenese)
BMC Construction Compnay (Labenese)
East International Group Incorparated (Chinese)
MDMC Construction Company (Treasurer of CDC)
Credible information in our possession suggests that the 45km ELWA–RIA Road Contract was awarded to East International without any form of competitive bidding process because Pres. Weah has 10% share, Min. Nat McGill 2.5% share, Min. Samuel Tweah 2.5% share, Min. Mabutu Nyenpan 2.5%, Min. Musa Dean 2.5% share, Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Pro-Temp Albert Chie have 2.5% share. This means that corrupt officials of the Liberian government will get 25% share of the profit/proceed East International will generate from this proposed US$101m ELWA–RIA Road Project. No wonder why East International was handpicked. The very Speaker Bhofal Chambers, including Rep. Acarous Gray, Rep. Thomas Fallah and Rep. Munnah Pelham-Youngblood, who stood against East International Group Incorporated has now succumbed to kickbacks. Liberia is a sad narrative.
I have attached links and photos to prove my point that East International is a HOAX. With East International, this ELWA–RIA Road Project is just another fiasco – a big HOAX too. Follow these links to see and read:
I will not stop investigating. The truth can never lie. With East International, this much-publicized ELWA-RIA Road Project is a fiasco. It is a big HOAX. Investigate for yourself and thank me later for raising this earnest alarm. Liberia First, Liberia Last.
I know that some of you are coming to repeat your usual cliche, “Martin is hateful and envious again”. Because I am exposing them, they are threatening some Publishrs of local newspapers not to publish my analyses anymore. This is INTOLERANCE, HARASSMENT, and MEDIA CENSORSHIP. But they’ve also forgotten that I am a contributing writer to dozens of international media outlets.
Our Writing Series “Under The Sycamore Tree” is here to stay, investigate, inform, educate, fact-check, and build national consciousness. Liberia will and must get better. Let me drink my juice yaa.
About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is a Liberia activist, columnist, and economist. He can be reached via martinkerkula1989@yahoocom