13 August Press Brief

Monday, 13th August 2007

Members of the Press:

Recent reports of the discovery of a huge quantity of ammunition in Gbarnga, Bong County were over stated. The fact of the matter is that items confiscated were spent or empty shells made up of assorted pieces of iron, apparently being collected by a scrap dealer for sale. The Scrap dealer, one Papa Mohammed Sheriff has since been arrested by Police and is still undergoing further investigation at the Headquarters of the Liberia National Police in Monrovia.

A consignment of buses shipped to Liberia by the government of Spain has arrived in the country. The buses are part of a commitment made by the government of Spain during a visit by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to that country. The buses, 25 in number, are in different categories. Some have a capacity of 15 to 25, while others take between 50 to 60 passengers.
The Spanish government has also sent two technicians to help train Liberian    
Technicians. Some spare parts were also sent.

The Ministry of Transport will put in place the necessary measures to facilitate the operation of the buses. The President realizes the need for transportation at a number of institutions in the country, and wants to reiterate the determination of government to provide long term measures that would ease the transportation problem in the country.

The donation from the government of Spain is simply a temporary measure, as Government seeks more resources to address problems in the Public Transport Section.

The Office of the President has been informed of the arrival of 25 Liberians from the United States on Wednesday, August 15. The Liberians, all male, are being deported by the government of the United States after serving their respective sentences for various criminal offenses committed in the United States. The Liberians have been convicted of burglary, armed robbery, sexual assault, rape, shoplifting, drug possession, fraud, among others. Six of the 25 Liberians are being deported for acts of misdemeanor. Authorities of the Bureau of Immigration, the Liberian National Police, and other law enforcement agencies have already put in place measures to receive the Liberians.

Our attention has been drawn to media reports that an American businessman, one Leonard Wayne Kragness is in Liberia exploring business opportunities. According to the reports, Mr. Kragness has concluded exploration work and has established the Sinoe Mining and Exploration of Anchorage, Alaska the United States, with the aimed to do alluvial mining in Sinoe County.

It is our understanding that Mr. Kragness has had some problems with the law in the United States.  Mr. Kragness is accordingly being investigated by our Security Agencies. We are also checking his capacity to invest.  In short, he has not been granted any license to mine in the country as it has been reported.

Thanks for your attention.