Liberia: Top GT Bank Officials Questioned in Probe of Missing Charles Sirleaf Money

Monrovia — Authorities at the Liberia National Police have confirmed to FrontPageAfrica that the Bank Manager, Financial Analyst and Tellers from the Guaranty Trust Bank spent most of Tuesday assisting in the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of nearly a million dollars from the private account of Mr. Charles Sirleaf, the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.

Police spokesman Moses Carter told FPA Tuesday the investigation is ongoing. "The investigation is still ongoing; and we have spoken to six persons already from GT Bank, five tellers and one Operational Manager. The total amount under investigation is: US$888,600.00 and 10 Million, 400 plus LD."

Added Carter: "The account mostly is Mr. Sirleaf's personal US and Liberian Dollar accounts with a little amount from his guest house."

Investigators are also said to be interested in speaking to the wife of Mr. Sirleaf as to whether they had a joint account and how much access she had to those accounts.

Investigators have made some attempts to speak to Mrs. Sirleaf but was reportedly told by Mr. Sirleaf to wait until after the last hearing in his case which was held Tuesday.

One official familiar with the investigation told FPA on condition of anonymity Tuesday that Mr. Sirleaf's private banker who handled his accounts is also being interrogated amid claims that some of his deposits were never made.

Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi, one of the lawyers representing GTBank acknowledged that top officials and tellers from the bank were aiding the investigation but could not speak further on the matter.

Mr. Sirleaf, one of the central figures in the missing LD16 billion saga has not spoken publicly on the matter and GT Bank officials are being tightlipped.

Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe said Monday that the government is aware of the complaint filed by Mr. Sirleaf to the police and is observing the investigation

Solicitor General Sayma Cyrennius Cephus, told a news conference last Friday that the charges were dropped after it was discovered that Mr. Sirleaf's only mistake in the process was an "egregious abuse of administrative discretion" because he failed to follow through with the instructions he had received earlier as it relates to the printing of the first L$5 billion. Cllr. Cephus also termed Mr. Sirleaf's error as a "gross malfeasance" adding, "But not criminal."

Said the Solicitor General: "So what they did, they departed from the original objective of replacing the legacy banknote or using Thomas De La Rue with the designs, specifications, texture, physical appearance they went to Crane Currency. When they went to Crane Currency, Crane Currency printed and delivered every other thing that they needed."

The Solicitor General stated that Mr. Sirleaf printed an entirely "new money", containing L$500 denomination, which he said wasn't the original objective and it was infused into the economy. "Instead or withdrawing or replacing the legacy banknotes, they added the new money into the economy, so there was the concomitant or parallel usage of both the mutilated banknotes, which is the legacy banknotes."

Both Mr. Sirleaf and his wife appeared for the final day of hearing in the LD16 billion case Tuesday. His lawyer, Cllr. Johnnie Momoh who had promised to address the missing money issue today did not follow through.

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