Monrovia, Liberia- The Management of the Central Bank says, they are not aware of any missing money as being reported in the press and the Liberian public, and that all monies received by the bank between 2016-2018 have been properly logged, and deposited into vaults of the bank.
Speaking at a press conference in Monrovia, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Nathaniel Patray, said, an internal assessment by the bank regarding news of the missing L$16 billion found, that during the period of 2016-2018, the total monies printed and placed in reserved vaults by the Central Bank of Liberia was L$15.5 billion. He said, the amount was verified by the CBL internal documents, and the Crane Currencies of Sweden, the company contracted to print the Liberian banknotes.
“The Central Bank of Liberia wants to clarify to the general public and our partners in progress, that there is no L$16 billion missing, as has been erroneously reported in the media”, Governor Patray said.
The Liberian Central Bank Governor also told the press that the bank has no record which shows that monies printed under its watch has not been delivered into its reserved vaults.
“Records from Crane Currency of Sweden which was contracted to print the money, shows, that Crane delivered L$15.5 billion through the Freeport of Monrovia, and Roberts International Airport between 2016 and 2018”, Mr. Patray added.
Meanwhile, Governor Patray said, the CBL welcomes the establishment of the investigative team formulated by President George Weah which include both security agencies and civil society organizations. He said, the bank is also in support of the government’s decision to ask the assistance of international partners like the United States, African Union, ECOWAS, United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund, in investigating the matter.
In a related development, the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia informed the press that the Liberian government is in the process of securing a reputable international forensic audit firm to conduct a forensic audit of the flow of all printed monies between 2016-2018. He said, the bank will cooperate with the investigation and will make all records in its possession, available to the investigative team. Mr. Patray added, that all employees of the Central Bank are committed to cooperating with the investigation, and will make themselves available to all and every investigative team upon being called.
In the meantime, Governor Patray called on the government of Liberia to leave the writ which places travel ban on staffers of the Central Bank of Liberia. He said, he cannot preempt the outcome of the investigation, as it is being headed by the Ministry of Justice.
The Central Bank of Liberia press conference today immediately ignited political debates around Liberia. Liberians from the opposition camp and the Bring Back our Billions campaign, swiftly termed the CBL press conference as a deliberate cover-up. They said, this have been in the works for over a week now, and that the press statement of the CBL is far from the truth. However, supporters of President Weah and members of the ruling party told The Liberian Billboard that they appreciate the efforts of the government, and the press conference by the Central Bank of Liberia shows transparency in the whole investigative process. They said, at no time in Liberia’s history have any financial controversy had a swift response by an entity of government, and this shows that the CDC-led government is out for business.
The Liberian Billboard will keep you updated on all and every development relating to the purported missing L$16 billion.