8 June Press Briefing

Monday, 8th June 2009

Members of the Press:

•    Contrary to reports that the recent fraudulent transfer of more than USD$1 million from the Central Bank of Liberia is being swept under the rug, the case is still being pursued in keeping with the law.

Three of the alleged accomplices, Joseph Kollie, Jesse Koiboi, and Alfred Kowbeidu, in the act have been charged and sent to court, and have been released on bail.  Also sent to court are Gbotee Peabody – a principal figure in the alleged fraud.  He once worked with the Central Bank of Liberia.

The following three individuals are now in custody awaiting trial: Mars Jusu Paasewe – who forged the President’s signature; Richard Paasewe--alleged to have opened the account at Eco-Bank using the forged signature of the President; and Joe Watson--a former employee with the Finance Ministry  involved in a recycled checks scandal.

In the meantime, the Board of Governors of the Central Bank is meeting for the second time to determine, among other things, what action to take against the Deputy Governor, Ethel Davis, for whatever role she may have played in the fraudulent transfer of the funds.  It is the Bank’s Board that is responsible for keeping with the terms of her contract with the Bank. The National Security Agency (NSA) is also working with the General Auditing Commission (GAC) as it carries out a financial audit to get to the bottom of the fraud.

•    Regarding reports of imminent changes within the justice system of Government...we are, herein, confirming reports of changes within this sector of Government.  An official announcement will be made as soon as the President is ready.

Thanks for your attention.