Liberia: Former Central Bank Governor Interrogated in Connection With 'Missing' Billions Local Currency

The Central Bank of Liberia building.

Monrovia — The former Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Milton Weeks, has turned himself in to the Liberia National Police and undergoing investigation in connection with discrepancies in the printing and failure to account for several billions in Liberian dollar banknotes.

He was picked up Friday morning at his residence after the police officers barricaded his house the entire Thursday night.

He was escorted to the Police Headquarters by his lawyer, Cllr. Negbalee Warner.

FrontPageAfrica gathered that private security guards at Weeks residence refused the police entry Thursday night.

The report unveiled many discrepancies as to the total and actual amount of new Liberian dollar banknotes printed, shipped and received by the Central Bank of Liberia, thereby creating doubts as to the total amount of Liberian dollar banknotes in circulation; as well as the negative impact said discrepancies are having on the economy.

The Presidential Investigation Team (PIT) in its report released Thursday disclosed that in 2016, the printing and importation of L$5 million was authorized by the National Legislature through resolutions issued by both House of Representatives and House of Senate. However, the contract between the Central Bank of Liberia and Crane Currency AB (an American Currency Printing Company with offices in Sweden) to print an initial L$5 million was consummated prior to Legislative authorization.

According to the PIT report, the Central Bank did not abide by international best practice for selecting and contracting Crane Currency to print the new Liberian Dollar Banknotes.

The report added that in 2017, the printing and importation of an additional L$10 million was not authorized by the National Legislature.

The Central Bank of Liberia relied on a letter of July 19, 2017 from the National Legislature and a resolution of the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Liberia to print and import the additional L$10 million.

The July 19, 2017 letter from the National Legislature did not constitute an authorization and the Board of Governors does not have the mandate to approve and/or authorize the printing and importation of currency bank notes.

In 2016, the total amount of L$5,146,250,000 printed and shipped by CRANE Currency was received by the Central Bank of Liberia. The amount of 146,250,000 Liberian dollar banknotes was printed in excess of the 5,000,000,000 authorized by the National Legislature and contracted for by the Central Bank of Liberia.

In 2016, the contract between the Central Bank of Liberia and CRANE Currency to print the 5,000,000,000 Liberian dollar banknotes was valued of US$5,210,000. However, the Central Bank of Liberia paid CRANE Currency a total of US$5,611,469.58 instead of the contract amount of US$5,210,000.00, resulting in overpayment of US$401,469.58. This overpayment was not authorized by the National Legislature and was paid outside the terms and conditions of the contract. The Central Bank of Liberia did not provide any amendment to the contract or any document to justify the overpayment.

In 2017 and 2018, the total amount of 10,359,750,000 Liberian dollar banknotes printed and shipped by CRANE Currency was received by the Central Bank of Liberia. The amount of 359,750,000 Liberian dollar banknotes was printed in excess of the 10,000,000,000 Liberian dollar banknotes contracted for by the Central Bank of Liberia.

In 2017, the Central Bank of Liberia contracted CRANE Currency to print 10,000,000,000 Liberian dollar banknotes at a contract valued of US$10,121,689.20. However, the Central Bank of Liberia paid CRANE Currency a total of US$10,555,587.34 instead of the contract amount of US$10,121,689.20, resulting in overpayment of US$433,898.14. This overpayment was not authorized by the National Legislature and was paid outside the terms and conditions of the contract. The Central Bank of Liberia did not provide any amendment to the contract or any document to justify the overpayment.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: FrontPageAfrica

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.