23 January 2013

Liberia: Atlantic Resources Denies Daily Observer, New Democrat Reports

The attention of Atlantic Resources (AR) is drawn to two reports published in the Friday, January 18, 2013 editions of the Daily Observer and New Democrat Newspapers respectively. Both dailies simultaneously, but through coordinated publications, claimed that AR has been expelled by the Liberian government on account of a report by the Special Investigating Body appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

According to AR release signed by it Managing Director, Dong Chun Han, “The New Democrat in its publication claimed that Mr. Hamed Sepawi, a shareholder of Perkapalan Damai Timar (PDT), which it alleges has 60% share in AR, was recently expelled from Liberia. Both papers claimed Mr. Sepawi and AR explosion was based on a Presidential decree.

“AR wishes to categorically deny both reports that it has been expelled from Liberia as claimed in the two newspapers. AR remains a legal entity duly registered, doing business in Liberia. While it is true Mr. Hamed Sepawi holds a minority share in PDT, the above named company, the company itself has less than 10% shares in Atlantic Resources.

“Neither Sepawi nor any other shareholder has ever visited nor been resident in Liberia, and the claims of expulsion or the attending conclusions drawn in both reports are entirely false and intended to besmear the company’s hard earned reputation.

“Since its operation began in Liberia in 2010, Atlantic Resources has concentrated its efforts in helping to develop primary and secondary roads in Sinoe, Grand Kru and Rivergee Counties, and has worked consistent with the many social agreements it has signed with beneficiary communities in the Southeast. Atlantic has developed over 80kilometers of coastal roads linking Sinoe, Grand Kru and Rivergee.

“Further efforts are underway to develop additional 20-kilometer stretch of road linking Grand Kru and Maryland Counties.

“AR views the latest media coverage as part of a systematic campaign intended to undermine its operations in Liberia, and is particularly alarmed by the reports in both dailies.

“In the absence of an official pronouncement from the Liberian government expelling the company, and consistent with the due process of law that allows an accused a hearing in a competent court of law, Atlantic Resources is surprised that the media would believe and circulate such story without citing any local source, court order or official pronouncement.

“Atlantic Resources stresses that journalists have a sacred duty to report facts, and where there are doubts, journalists are obligated by ethical codes to counter-check their facts and provide a platform for the right of reply to entities and individuals accused. The stories in both papers are based on malicious speculation and a criminal design to impair the company’s reputation.

“Atlantic Resources reaffirms its commitment to the rule of law and would abide by the moratorium on the Private Use Permits, as it pursues remedy in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia”.

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