Following the latest action by the Sterling National Bank to refuse doing business with the Liberian Embassy in the United States and instructed
the Embassy to withdraw its funds from their institution because it could no longer do business with the Embassy through a letter written to the Embassy, a copy of which this entity has possession of, the Liberian government through the Foreign Ministry put out a press release acknowledging the deli ma the Embassy is facing and said the action taken by United States banking institutions against their Embassy is not unique to his country but a regular routine which also involves eighty other countries as well.
The Liberian Foreign Ministry press release under the signature of Assistant Minister for Public Affairs, Horatio Bobby Willie reassured the Liberian public that his ministry will do all within its power to resolve the problem.
In reality and on the contrary, the press release is smartly crafted to purposely deceive the Liberian people and conceive the truth behind the actions of U. S. banking institutions’ refusal to do business with the Liberian Embassy in Washington D C, meaning Liberia and eighty other countries foreign missions in the United States can not conduct business transaction in the United States.
The lies the Foreign Ministry is telling but hiding the truth is that, the ministry is intentionally conceiving the truth behind the refusal of United States banking institutions to conduct business with his country’ Embassy and tacitly misleading the Liberian public by not revealing the true intent about what is not unique about U. S. banking institutions refusal to do business with the Liberian embassy in Washington D C.
To unveil the crust of the refusal of U. S. banking institutions of not doing business with the Liberian Embassy in Washington D C and what the true anatomy of “it is not unique to Liberia” for banking institutions in United States refuse to do business with the Liberian Embassy is that, the embassy is among eighty other countries whose accounts had been frozen by the United States government in 2012 which this entity first published in its February 29, 2012 edition- the action was taken against countries with huge influx of money coming into their embassies accounts and the United States government could not track; how and for what purpose was the money expanded for and who received it. Liberia is one of such countries caught funneling huge amount of money into the Embassy’s account and the money not reflected in its expenditure nor any trail of who expanded the funds and for what purpose was it expanded for.
The truth of the matter is, the spin and bluff the Liberian Foreign Ministry put out through the press release is a calibrated deceptive tool solely meant to hide the severity of the crimes for which the Embassy accounts have been frozen and shield itself for facilitating a criminal venture by giving the Embassy’s account and authorized it be used for criminal purposes at the detriment of the country’s image.
The former Deputy Chief of Mission, Edwin Sele at the Liberian Embassy in Washington D C Embassy confirmed to this entity when it was conducting investigation into the allegation before publishing the first hand account of the freezing of the Embassy’s account in 2012, but he insisted they were not in control or had knowledge about any such huge amount of money. The Liberian diplomat asserted the Embassy had modest funds it operated on, emphasizing that the Embassy did not even handle staff and employees salaries as they are paid directly from Liberia and visas fees collected are sent to Liberia.
The Foreign Ministry’s press release deceptively concocts a portrait far from coming clean with the Liberian people by not informing them why it authorized the criminal facilitation of the country’s U S Embassy account to launder money out of the country. The Foreign Ministry as supervisor of all foreign missions and by default of its authority of oversight of foreign missions must tell the Liberian people why it allowed the Liberian government to use the Embassy account to funnel, launder, and stash away the country’s resources to unknown sources. The Foreign Ministry must come clean and reveal the total amount of money stashed into oblivion, who signed for those monies, what was it expanded for and why it is not accounted for in the Embassy’s financial reports and what role did the Foreign Minister play in stashing away huge millions from the country’s coffers worth the attention of the United States government to blend the Embassy’s account to be blacklisted and frozen with the other eighty countries.
Those eighty countries embassies’ accounts are frozen on charges that they are suspected of money laundering, corruption, and using the United States banking institutions to deplete their countries’ resources. It is a new global terrorism tool the United States is using to fight global terrorism where it vows that their country will no longer allow its institutions and country to be used to stash away the wealth of other countries by criminals under the canopy of their foreign missions and foster corruption in their respective countries while their people remain destitute. It is this category the Liberian Embassy is entrapped in and this is no normal routine but the Embassy is blacklisted as engaging in criminal activities against the terrorism laws of the United States.
This latest debacle hitting the Liberian foreign mission is not new but it has just hit home to the broader Liberian public and they are taking notice. In February 2012, this entity first reported that Liberia was added on the list of African foreign missions whose accounts were frozen for money laundering, corruption, and other charges along with forty-nine others. Then Deputy Chief of Mission of the Liberian Embassy, Edwin Sele confirmed the the story and was soon recalled and reassigned to Morocco.
Ambassador Jeremiah Slunteh and his predecessors must also unequivocally tell the Liberian people what they know and when did they know about the huge millions missing from the Embassy’s financial report for which the country is facing such embarrassment. Other stakeholders that must give account of their involvement for this current national embarrassment are, the Liberian Finance Minister and Comptroller General of the country who disbursed the funds and the Embassy’s Finance officer who must know how and when money is withdrawn from the Embassy’s account and who received it and for what purpose it was disbursed for.
The Liberian Foreign Ministry is bound by its statutory obligation to provide explanation about the country’s missing millions and the national embarrassment it is causing the people of Liberia and the dent it has on the country’s image. The Liberian Justice Ministry must LUNCH an aggressive investigation to get to the bottom of this national catastrophe and prosecute all involve in the laundering of the country’s money. The Liberian Foreign Ministry through its Foreign Minister, the Ambassador to United States, the Finance Ministry, and Finance Officer at the Liberian Embassy are prime suspects and must come clean with the Liberian people.