Forensic Detectives In Town
-US Answers Liberia’s Request
-Scoping Mission Commenced
The United States Government, through its Embassy near Monrovia has finally made tremendous intervention in an effort to authenticate report of alleged missing billions of printed banknotes in Liberia.
Recently, Liberians were given offensive awakening amid excruciating and unacceptable harsh economic pains over reports that “16 billion” newly printed Liberian banknotes disappeared in thin air, although the report went wide as if the allegation has already been verified and culprits are identified There were those who politicized the allegation, and to a larger degree, accused the current political regime under President George Manneh Weah of perpetrating such an unprecedented financial scandal in the country’s corruption history.
The aggressive uproar, characterized by street protest and threats of dissent that greeted the “missing billions” allegation, constrained Pres. Weah to seek the immediate intervention of the United States Government through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the IMF and other credible financial crimes detectives to help with an already ongoing investigation commenced on August 8, 2018 by the Weah administration.
However, the US, through its diplomatic Mission in Liberia has calmed the storm in its latest decision to hire the services of credible group to carry on what it described as “scoping mission” into the allegation.
According to a dispatch from the US Embassy recently, USAID has reached out to independent, internationally recognized firms with specialization in forensic investigations to conduct a scoping mission that could ascertain the basic facts of the alleged missing currency matter.
The forensic team, according to the dispatch, will also determine to what extent a broader mission would be needed, adding that “it is the assessment of the U.S. Embassy in Liberia that such a report would be the most credible and effective means to quickly determine the scale of the problem, and would be an appropriate means for the United States to support the Liberian Government’s and citizens’ desire to understand the allegations and facts.”
“Ifa broader and longer investigation were found to be needed after the scoping mission has concluded, the Liberian Government could discuss next steps with international partners”, the dispatch noted.
However, to ensure that the United States is serious about the matter and not to compromise the integrity of the independent investigators, it disclosed that “to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the process, the U.S. and Liberian Governments have agreed that the independent forensic investigators will conduct their work with full access to information needed and without the imposition of additional actors from the government, civil society, or international partners.”
Meanwhile, the dispatch added that the Liberian Government and the US have agreed to make the report public. “We have agreed that the completed report will be made public, so that there is full transparency and understanding of the outcomes. We urge all Liberians to remain patient as the Liberian government, assisted by the United States and other international partners, considers appropriate and expeditious means to help resolve current concerns and questions about Liberia’s currency”.