17 November 2017

Liberian National Red Cross Society Admits to Fraud, Corruption

Monrovia — The Liberia National Red Cross Society, an auxiliary of the Government of Liberia, admits and deeply regrets the shaming fraud and corruption saga in which donations from local and international partners, and the Liberian Government for the people of Liberia, especially victims and those affected by the Ebola virus were stolen in 2014/15.

The fraud and corruption saga was uncovered following an audit which report the National Society received with dismay and extends further apologies for the loss of US$2.7 million in Liberia. However, it is worth noting that the amount lost is equivalent to less 15 percent of the total fund.

While the National Society regrets this embarrassing situation, its new leadership wishes to inform the general public that significant progress are being made to avert the reoccurrence of the situation and strong measures are being taken to investigate and legally pursue any persons involved in the fraud saga.

The Ministry of Justice has opened a formal investigation into the matter.

As part of the retributive measures of the saga, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Chief Patron of the Society, dissolved the entire governing Board in March 2016 after the suspension of the management team.

The President's Office then set up a steering committee who introduced a transition plan and interim management team to salvage and stabilize the situation.

The interim management team headed by the Independent Interim Chief Executive Officer commissioned an audit and management investigation into the fraud and corruption saga in December 2016.

The audit and investigation report indicted several individuals including former members of the management teams, as well as individuals and business entities that allegedly colluded in the fraud and corruption saga. Currently, certain individuals and business entities involved in the saga are being investigated by the Ministry of Justice.

Also in December 2016, a new governing Board was elected and installed. In June 2017, the Secretariat General of the National Society was recruited.

The new leadership of the National Society wishes to reassure the general public of its commitment to devote time and invest resources to promote integrity initiatives and place demands for transparency and accountability in actions; and ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the performance of mandate duties.

For us to continue to rebuild the trust of donors and partners, it is imperative that we are transparent with how we expend donor funding in the interest of the vulnerable people.

Meanwhile, the Society again takes this opportunity to appreciate the government of Liberia, the partners and communities across Liberia for the level of support continuously rendered the National Red Cross.

Liberia

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