7 January 2016

Liberia: 'Kickbacks in Return For Contract at Liberia Red Cross'

Moore Stephens, a renowned auditing firm based in the United Kingdom, hired to audit the financial records and procurement procedures of the Liberia National Red Cross Society has linked M2 Logistics to paying kickback in return for a contract from the Liberia Red Cross.

The auditors also raised concerns regarding the procurement of more than 30,000 buckets with lids and faucets.

Auditors also revealed that allegation of fraud against the Liberia National Red Cross points to inflated commodity prices, kickbacks and schemes.

The audit report also alleged that the supplier, M2 Logistics paid Red Cross officials kickbacks to be awarded the procurement contracts.

The auditors further indicated in their report that on January 16, 2015, the suspended Secretary General of the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) and Head of Program signed a supply agreement with M2 Logistics, which has no procurement records, for 13 assorted items amounting to over US$800,800.

The auditors noted that they observed inconsistent dates in the documents, which it mentioned between January 19, 2015 and February 26, 2015, a local purchase order was placed for the supply of 30,000 buckets with lids and faucets listed in the agreement.

Moore Stephens Auditing Firm stressed that based on pieces of documentary evidences reviewed and interactions with other sources, the date of delivery of the items was uncertain because information from the supplier delivery note, warehouse received note and the inventory movements created doubts and presumed that the transactions may have been scrapped and not transparent.

These allegations come as the International Federation of the Red Cross suspends funding to the LNRCS following allegations of fraud.

IFRC wants the Liberia Red Cross to account for US$1.8 million used in supporting other projects. The US$1.8 M is different from the US$1.2 M provided to fight the Ebola Virus Disease.

It was from the US$1.2 M the US$800,800 was used on procurement contracts.

All efforts to get M2 Logistics did not materialize up to press time.

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