Liberia: GT Bank Stuck in Kailondo's Claw

Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia limited has lost four hundred, twenty thousand United States dollars (US$420,000.00) to businessman George Kailondo for carrying out transactions from his petroleum account with his (Kailondo) authorization.

The bank through its management was indicted a few months ago by the Government of Liberia over crimes: theft of property, criminal conspiracy, and criminal facility amongst others, based on the complaint of George Kailondo.

After months of trying to prove its innocent, Criminal Court "C" Judge Ousman Feika over the weekend, handed down a guilty verdict against the bank instructing it to restitute the amount of US$420,000.00 as a penalty for the crimes of guilty.

The bank was mandated to make 50 percent payment to Kailondo Petroleum within six months as of the day of the judgment, thereafter, an arrangement with be entered on how to make the remaining 50 percent payment.

During the trial, the bank conceded to the commission of unauthorized transactions carried out on the Kailondo Petroleum account but said an agreement was reached between the company's CEO George Kailondo and the bank to which an initial amount of five thousand payment was made.

On this basis, the bank through its legal team pleaded with the court to dismiss the matter and free the bank of the crimes levied against it.

While the state, contended that the bank pays for its action on grounds that many Liberian businesses have broken down due to the action of the bank, and that ruling against the bank would serve as deterrence for those banks that are involved or wanting to engage in such act.

The state maintained that the bank though admitting to the act, should not go free, but be penalized by violating the banking policy and making the private prosecutor George Kailondo incur a serious loss.

Meanwhile, the GT Bank has taken exception to the Judge's verdict and announced an appeal to the Supreme Court. The intent of the appeal is to undo the judgment of the Circuit Court.

On July 10, 2021, George Kailondo filed a lawsuit against GT Bank Liberia Limited accusing the Bank of stealing US$930,500.00 from his account.

According to the Liberian businessman, the money was withdrawn from his account without his knowledge.

The lawsuit further stated that from September 9, 2014 up to December 15, 2016, the named defendants and others knowingly, and criminally took, defrauded, deprived, and stole the US$930,500.00 from Kailondo Checking Account.

Subsequently; on June 3, 2021 the Grand Juror for Montserrado County, indicted the defendants (Executive Officers) of the Bank with the crimes of theft of property and criminal conspiracy.

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