23 July 2018

Liberia: CBL Complicit in Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

The Central Bank of Liberia's failure to regulate the transfer of money in and out of Liberia has made the country a soft ground for money laundering and terrorist financing.

A classified report this paper has seen indicates that hard core operatives of various terrorist organizations in the Sahel region mainly the Front de Liberation de Macina are using Liberia's loose financial system to remit money here and to destinations across the world.

According to NATO's files on March 2, 2017, the Front de Liberation de Macina merged with active three terrorist groups in Mali including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to intensified terror activities in the West African region.

These violent Islamic movements are aiming reprisal attacks against countries that are combating their massing killing crusade. Liberian soldiers are amongst troops fighting to dislodge those jihadist militants in north and central Mali.

Having the appearance of a legitimate firm, the three brothers Arrested July 4 namely, Mamadou Barry, Oumar Barry and Abubakar Barry were using their ASB Transfer Services in Monrovia to facilitate terrorism financing and money laundering, the report said.

Electronic data show and extracted confession prove the Barry brothers acting against security authorities' caution and CBL's regulation opted to secretly deal with terrorists on Liberian soil and remitting to them several thousand United States dollars.

While the Central Bank's regulation on money transfer requires that any remittance exceeding the US$5,000 threshold should be channeled through the banking system, ASB Transfer Services was remitting in a single transactions amount such as $10,000; 50,000; $24,000 and $99,000 United States dollars.

A notorious Terrorist operative identified as Abdulrahman Kabbain has been on of those transferring Money to the country. On one instance US$1million was transferred.

Several terrorists arrested in connection to a planned to attack select diplomatic missions and government's installations and facilities are amongst beneficiaries of the Barry brothers illegal transfer services.

Facing multiple criminal offenses including terrorism, economic sabotage and money laundering the three suspects with Malian links were jailed July 6 at the Monrovia Central Prison on the orders of Magistrate J. Kennedy Peabody of the Monrovia City Court.

- Festus Poquie


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