2014-08-16

Liberia - Fumba Sirleaf and 419 scam?

And some more quickly deleted news:

Fumba Sirleaf, the son of the president, is in the spotlight:




11.08.2014 | 19:34 PM

Innocence Project Africa [these guys are meant here], which has taken up the legal interest of the four Korean businessmen, recently robbed of US$284,000 by NSA securities, last week wrote the Minister of Justice, Christiana Tah, on the matter. The project has forwarded its legal pursuit, this time writing the President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on a situation which, mixed with Ebola, has become a double-stab for her government.

   Innocence Project Africa’s letter reads, “We have the honor to present our compliments in these difficult and excruciating times of the deadly Ebola virus in our national history, and extend to your Excellency best wishes for your good health and your dynamic stewardship of our dear country.

   “Excellency, we are deeply constrained to bring to your urgent attention a rather shameful and disgraceful development involving your son, Fumba Sirleaf, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) for illegally confiscating from a group of Korean businessmen, Messrs. Jung Dal Park, Chae Dae Byoung, Chold Jung Woo, Cha Kwang Woon and Aleck Gold, without any court order, the amount of US$284,000, and declaring it in a press statement as US$49,300 counterfeit notes.

   “The truth of the matter is that US$284,000 was withdrawn on bank slips from the International Bank (IB) on July 8, 2014 and was confiscated while the Koreans were involved in a business transaction for gold with Nasser Ally, a Lebanese businessman who had invited them to Liberia. It is believed that somebody in the IB Bank alerted your son when the Koreans went there to withdraw their money on that fateful day.

   “Further, our clients have presented to us emails which were exchange with Mr. Ally prior to their visit to Liberia and were shocked that after they were jointly arrested along with Mr. Ally while transacting business, Fumba Sirleaf instructed his boys to remove Mr. Ally from among them (Koreans) to an unknown area, and after a while, the plain clothes security returned, and announced that they confiscated US counterfeit notes. Of course, Ally from that moment, was seen as “cooperating” with the investigators and was never seen again. What is mindboggling is that none of our clients or a third party was present when US$49,300 of the US$284,000 was declared as counterfeit notes by the same arresting officers who confiscated our clients’ money.

   “This is quite amazing, and it raises a fundamental question about the credibility of the purported discovery of counterfeit notes. Moreover, it is even shocking to note that in the face of incessant demands for the return of our clients’ money, the NSA under the leadership of your son, Fumba Sirleaf, has allowed Nasser Ally, who, it is suspected masterminded the illegal arrest and confiscation of our clients’ money to leave the country.

   “It is sometimes hard to shield the truth especially so where friends are involved but what is important is to always give an early warning sign so that when the moment of reckoning shall come, those to whom the simple truth has a real meaning can stand up and speak. The truth in this case is that Mr. Fumba Sirleaf has illegally confiscated US$284,000 from a group of Korean businessmen who were misled into coming to Liberia by Nasser Ally, who it is suspected is a close friend of your son.

   “A situation like this usually gives the country and its leader’s bad image, and this will be the case when the Koreans get back to South Korea. We are afraid to say after the Valentine Ayika’s wrangle, Your Excellency’s government is once again being drawn into a pointless battle in which it will come out as a big loser with a crest falling face at the expense of the national treasury because of security indiscretion.

   “As it was in 2006, when Valentine Ayika had nowhere to turn but to us, the Koreans came crying on bended knees, pleading with us to appeal to all conscious minds to prevail on Fumba Sirleaf to reverse what they consider as a complete tattle and speak the truth that he personally ordered his agents to confiscate their money which is currently in his (Fumba Sirleaf’s) possession.

   “We tend to agree with our clients for three basic reasons which are stated as follows:

1. That an official press statement issued by the NSA claimed that US$49,300 counterfeit notes were confiscated, meaning US$234,700 was real money, but that too is strangely unaccounted for;

2. That the Ministry of Justice was quoted in august 5, 2014 edition of the News Newspaper that US$247,000 counterfeit banknotes were seized from the Koreans and placed in escrow account; meaning, US$37,000 of the US$284,000 was unaccounted for; and

3. That our clients have insisted based on the bank slips that the total amount of money seized from them was US$284,000.

   “Well, we are not sure whether Your Excellency’s government is operating an escrow account with lots of counterfeit banknotes in it and should even publicly make such pronouncement as a form of defense. Whatever the case, one thing that is true amid all of these glaring contradictions and ill-fated defenses is that, our clients’ money was illegally seized by Fumba Sirleaf’s men, and have therefore asked us to use this opportunity to appeal to Your Excellency to prevail on Fumba to save the Sirleaf family’s name from public taunt and vilification.

   “We are told that an investigation which is nothing but a complete charade is about to be had by a Justice Ministry team which we believe will be nothing but the same “six and seven book of Moses” and will only further expose the Sirleaf family’s name to public mockery and ridicule because nobody in the Ministry of Justice has the nerves to say what the truth is. Fumba Sirleaf is big and arrogant enough to damn their findings as complete nonsense! Timid as they are, these strange bedfellows who are only good at shifting blames to maintain their jobs will soon indict the poor Koreans and make you son Fumba Sirleaf a “patriot”, simply because Your Excellency is in power, but once out of public view, they will blame you for not taking a drastic action against Fumba. How sad is it for a leader not to know who will actually drag his/her name into the muds!

   “Excellency, you should bear in mind always that people who often congratulate you for what you say and do in life are, after all, your worst enemies and those you perceive as true enemies are in fact your best friends, says Robert Nester Marley alias Bob Marley. Who could have ever imagined that Alvin Jones and the wife of his true friend, the late President Samuel Kanyon Doe, will be in court today fighting over properties? Beware of political chameleons! Liberia, under Your Excellency’s government has had a bad record in ECOWAS for stealing Mr. Valentine Ayika’s money and paying it back based on the orders of the ECOWAS court.

   “If the matter had remained in Liberia, poor Ayika, being a stranger, would never have had his day in court because your “expert lawyers” in the Justice Ministry are fond of using Your Excellency’s name and influence to control decisions in these courts so much that in cases where the state (Government of Liberia) has an interest as it was in the case of “Dib and Anthony Kassabli” they are the ones who can determine which judge should or should not preside. Sadly, Kassablis unaware of their stratagems, were convicted not on the strength of the evidence adduced but on the treachery and collusion of their legal “supremacy!” While some of our colleagues can only shake their heads in total disbelief whenever the state triumphs by deception and frauds, we at Innocence Project Africa will not submit to a court process in Liberia whose outcome will squarely lie in the palms of those to whom the truth has no meaning. The truth of the matter is that the Koreans were robbed in broad daylight by Fumba’s men, and therefore, the money should be returned to them unconditionally.

   “Finally, we are not strangers to what you are capable of doing, and knowing Your Excellency to be the “Iron Lady” of yesterday years, who, in Your Excellency’s days of advocacy, described as abominable, a state organized theft and robbery in any form, as it is in this case, we are confident therefore, that Your Excellency’s motherly intervention will force Fumba Sirleaf and his followers and supporters to have a second thought and think kindly of what is likely to become a serious political miscalculation that could seriously the book of Proverbs 13:24, which says, “Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.” We know this matter will surely claim Your Excellency’s urgent attention and so our mobile phones as stated above are opened and we’ll be happy to receive Your Excellency’s call, directing us where to pick up the Korean businessmen’s US$284,000 that was illegally seized from them by your son, Fumba Sirleaf.

   “May Your Excellency’s unwavering bearing in the bulwark of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus and crimes, save the sovereign people of Liberia and all unsuspecting victims of state-sponsored thefts and robberies!”
[censored source]


Following claims by the National Security Agency (NSA) that it has seized US$247,000 counterfeit banknotes from Korean and Sierra Leonean businessmen, the Ministry of Justice say it has ordered that the ‘confiscated’ money be deposited into an escrow account at a local bank until the legality of the issue is determined.
NSA Deputy Director Nathaniel S. Hodge told a news conference Monday that the counterfeit notes are all in US$100 denomination. He said the counterfeit, along with all other items confiscated, has been turned over to the Ministry of Justice based on a stay of investigation letter to Director Fomba Sirleaf from Deputy Justice Minister Cllr. Wheatonia Dixon Barnes.
He claimed that the suspects told investigators that the items were intended to smelt gold in a hotel room for shipment abroad.
Deputy Director Hodge said the suspects were arrested following a tipoff, and further alleged the illegal combustible and hazardous materials including cyanide and equipment were also confiscated.
At a press conference, the security agency attacked a local daily for insinuating the non-cooperation of the agency in the on-going investigation of some Korean and Sierra Leonean nationals with hazardous materials and equipment that posed national security risk to the lives of citizens.
The NSA had received intelligence that individuals were in possession of illegal combustible and hazardous materials, including cyanide in the hotel. The NSA seized the individuals, counterfeit monies, equipment and hazardous materials verifying their purpose was to smelt gold in a hotel room for shipment outside Liberia.
The NSA said it turned over all the evidences to the Ministry of Justice on July 15, 2014.
However, in a letter dated July 11, 2014, Deputy Justice Minister Barnes, said “We are indeed very concerned about the legal implication this issue poses to the Government of Liberia (GOL), and the potential negative impact it may have on investors. In this connection, therefore, we advice that you forward this matter to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for a thorough investigation in conjunction with the NSA. To protect the integrity of the process, we further advise that the amount in question be deposited into an escrow account until the legality of this issue is determined. Additionally, we request that you stay all forms of investigation with respect to this case pending our joint sitting.”
Also, the Kemp & Associates, headed by Cllr. Theophilus C. Gould, informed the Justice Ministry dated July 11, 2014 that his clients identified as Jung Dal Park, Chae Dae Byoung, Choi Jung Woo, Cha Kwang Woon and Aleck Gold arrived in Liberia upon the invitation of Mr. Nassa, a Lebanese businessman, operating in the country.
Cllr. Gould explained that Mr. Nassa had presented to his clients that he engages in mining and sale of gold. He said his clients came to legitimately purchase gold in the country.    “Hon. Minister, on the 8th day of July, 2014 at about 11:00 a.m. in the morning, personnel of the National Security Agency (NSA) arrested our clients, seized from them money in the amount of US$247,000, which was withdrawn from a local bank (I.B.) and detained them. Few minutes after the detention, the NSA exclaimed that the money from the International Bank was counterfeit and threatened to charge our clients for money laundering and also threatened to deport them,” Cllr. Gould narrated in the letter.
Considering the current situation, Cllr. Gould requested the Justice Ministry to intervene in the matter as the action on the part of security agency was becoming regular and had the propensity to drive away investors.






and the shills act up:

-- Progressive Alliance
A pro-democracy and human rights organization, the Progressive Alliance Movement has called on the Press Union of Liberia to urgently launch an investigation into claims of unprofessional journalism by certain media institutions.

The Progressive Alliance describes as “evil attempt” by certain media entities to engage in ‘unprofessional’ journalism under the guise of press freedom.
The group says it is deeply appalled and stunned by a growing wave of anti-government sentiments in the media with particular reference to a local radio station.
The Progressive Alliance believes that the station has of late engaged in broadcasting anti-government sentiments intended to denigrate the government and its functionaries.
In a release issued Thursday, the group said while it does understand the frustration of certain media executives, however, observes that it is wrong for the station to spew negative propaganda at the detriment of the public.
The pro-democracy and human rights group said it is concerned with the manner in which SKY Communications is handling activities surrounding the Ellen “Step down Campaign” against the government.
The Progressive Alliance said while it welcomes aggressive reporting of the media, however, such reporting must be done professionally, and not on the basis of vindictiveness.
VPUL Must Investigates ‘Unprofessional’ Journalism
-- Progressive Alliance
A pro-democracy and human rights organization, the Progressive Alliance Movement has called on the Press Union of Liberia to urgently launch an investigation into claims of unprofessional journalism by certain media institutions.
The Progressive Alliance describes as “evil attempt” by certain media entities to engage in ‘unprofessional’ journalism under the guise of press freedom.
The group says it is deeply appalled and stunned by a growing wave of anti-government sentiments in the media with particular reference to a local radio station.
The Progressive Alliance believes that the station has of late engaged in broadcasting anti-government sentiments intended to denigrate the government and its functionaries.
In a release issued Thursday, the group said while it does understand the frustration of certain media executives, however, observes that it is wrong for the station to spew negative propaganda at the detriment of the public.
The pro-democracy and human rights group said it is concerned with the manner in which SKY Communications is handling activities surrounding the Ellen “Step down Campaign” against the government.
The Progressive Alliance said while it welcomes aggressive reporting of the media, however, such reporting must be done professionally, and not on the basis of vindictiveness.

[source]

Another son:

Journalist Octavian Williams has been arrested and jailed by the Deputy Police Director for Operations, Colonel Abraham Kromah, in what is generally seen as a dubious circumstance to settle the score for critical publications about the president's family.

Col. Kromah said the arrest was due to Mr. Williams – as publisher of the Nation Times – driving with a foreign license plate. The police have accused Williams of a traffic offense and disorderly conduct.  

The arrest of Williams follows a series of publications alleging that Mr. Robert Sirleaf – the son of the president who is also senior advisor to his mother – is an American citizen. A few weeks ago, Mr. Williams was called to the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) to answer questions surrounding a publication that indicted the president's family of looting state coffers.

He was threatened with forfeiture of license for failure to regularize his status to operate a newspaper.

Meanwhile, media analysts see the arrest and subsequent detention of Mr. Williams as a means of settling scores with the journalist.

It has been seen as a behind-the-scenes action of state functionaries denying bail, as the journalist has not been fully charged. Press Union of Liberia President K. Abubullai Kamara says they are negotiating and would come out with a statement soon.  

[source]

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