Liberia: Financial Intelligence Agency’s Financial Activities Show Entity Received US$500M, Withdrew All Same Day

MONROVIA – The Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA), an entity established through an act of legislature to fight against financial crimes appears to have itself entangled in the very crimes it should be preventing.

By Henry Karmo- henry.karmo@frontpageafricaonline.com

A FrontPage Africa’s investigation has uncovered an alarming deposit and withdrawal of huge amount of money from the entity’s account in one day – a bank transaction shows that head of the entity received US$500K and withdrew it on the same day.

In a bank statement attached to this story, FPA uncovered that on the 22nd of September, Mr. Stanley S. Ford, Director General of the FIA received USD$ 599k and withdrew the same day on the cheque bearing the name of the entity’s Comptroller who is identify as DMP Cooper.

Financial statements and analysis also showed that the aggregate amount received in 2023, was US$1,079 million, and FIA Director General Ford withdrew and disbursed 95% percent of such amount in the name of the Comptroller.

In the midst of all these transactions, there are allegations from sources within that these monies were siphoned through the entity’s account to fund the campaign of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of former President George Weah’s during the just ended 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.

Mr. Ford refused to respond to an FPA inquiry despite continued reminder via text messages over a five-day period. Mr. Ford is believed to be a staunch member and supporter of the former ruling CDC, even though the act that establishes the FIA speaks against political affiliation.

The transaction’s timeline

On July 1, 2023, Mr. Ford was appointed as co-chair of the finance committee of the then ruling CDC, which contravene the FIA Act of 2021.

On September 23, 2023 the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning transferred the amount of US$500,000 into the FIA checking account number 02205530000201 for the “purpose of purchasing IT equipment” for FIA operators.

Review of the FIA’s bank statement and procurement revealed that no IT equipment were bought in the 2023 fiscal year by the FIA.

Summary of the transactions

Date:  September 2023.

Account number:  0220530000201

Purpose: Purchase of IT equipment

Deposit date: September 23, 2023

Withdrawal date: September 23,2023

Amount: 500,000 USD

Name of the person who made the withdrawal: D. Moses Cooper

Chief Comptroller, FIA

From FIU to FIA

On July 29, 2022, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Act of 2012, was repealed by an act of the Legislature, thus bringing into being the establishment of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) of Liberia.

The FIA is an independent and autonomous agency established to serve as the central, national agency of Liberia responsible for the receipt, analysis, and conduct preliminary investigations of suspicious transactions or activities reports, currency transactions or activities reports, other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offenses, terrorist financing, financing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and proceeds of crime and other transactions or activities.

The FIA vision is to build a well-equipped Agency dedicated to an effective Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism [AML/CFT] regime in Liberia. The FIA seeks to protect Liberia’s financial system from abuse of financial and economic crime for the enhancement of national, regional, and global peace and economic stability.

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