The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Chinese Company Busted in River Cess

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has immediately halted an unauthorized Chinese mining firm building a boat on the Cestos River in River Cess County. While enroute to Sinoe County Sunday, March 16 via River Cess County, President Sirleaf uncovered the unauthorized mining operation of the Chinese when she made a quick stop just after the Cestors River Bridge and quizzed Mr. Elvis Luo Koinj, who spoke on behalf of his Uncle Luo, that he claimed could not understand English.

During the President's inquiry, Elvis said documents for their gold mine company called Sky Company were not yet ready, but allegedly in process. According to him, he and his Uncle Luo were building a very large boat over the river when President Sirleaf arrived.

When the President reached ITI Community or the Italian Timber Industry Community not too far from the river, she told residents that instructions have already given to Commissioner Gbey to halt the Chinese operation until their documents are fully processed, including details of royalties that should go to government, residents and the community.

"I told the commissioner; I saw the people down at the river; the people taking the country resources - they taking all the things that they want; they're moving it from here. You can't do that one until government gives you paper or the government says it's alright for you to do it and we know what the government and people will get from inside," the President said to the locales in penchant Liberian English.

She said the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy has also been informed that operations at the river should stop until government finds out what they're doing, saying "So the Superintendent, the Minister for Lands; the Minister for Internal Affairs must sent one team here; the people must stop that thing... They take the thing and just carry to their part of country, no."

However, the Chinese explained that the place was for one Chinese firm, which gave them the go ahead to start work near the Cestors River, pending the completion of their business document.

But regarding the sand on shore, they said the Sky Company did not mine it. Prior to going to River Cess, the Chinese said they resided at the Golden Gate Hotel adjacent the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, but could not say where their offices are located or where their documents are being processed.

"... just coming, we not do anything. We were living Golden Gate before we came here. We just start doing the document for Sky, the document is not ready," Elvis Luo Koinj, explained.

Winston W. Parley, Traveling With the President

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