The new management of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), headed by veteran banker, Nathaniel Patray has informed the public that it has concluded its internal assessment of monies printed and brought in Liberia between 2016 and 2018.
“According to the records of the CBL, the total amount of money printed and placed in the reserved vaults of the Bank was L$15.5 billion for the period of 2016- 2018. This amount was verified from the CBL own internal documents and documents received from the Crane Currency of Sweden (the contracted printer),” CBL Governor Nathaniel Patray told reporters at a news conference in Monrovia late Tuesday, October 2, 2018 evening.
According to Governor Patray, the news that there were some missing 15–16 billion Liberian banknotes which were stockpiled in containers at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and the Freeport of Monrovia is far from the truth and it should not be taken seriously by the public.
He claimed, the CBL has all the necessary records to prove that at no time money have gotten missing from any of the major entry points in the country.
He said in as much as the CBL welcomes an investigation into the missing billion dollars saga, it has no records showing that monies printed under its authority have not yet been delivered into its reserve vaults.
“The bank also welcomes the Government’s decision to engage international partners such as the Government of the United States of America, the African Union (AU), Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations (UN), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is our latest information that based on this engagement, the Government and its partners are in the process of securing the services of a reputable International Forensic Audit Firm to conduct a forensic audit of all flows of printed money between 2016 and 2018,” the CBL Governor averred.
Governor Patray is meanwhile calling on the Government of Liberia to remove the recent traveling ban placed on 34 employees of the institution, stating that, every staff of the CBL stands ready to submit themselves to the ongoing investigation whenever call upon for questioning.
“The CBL will cooperate with this investigation and avail all records in its possession to the investigation….in view of all of the above, and so not to interrupt the smooth operations of the CBL, I am requesting the Government of Liberia to vacate the writ thus removing the travel restriction on the CBL staff,” he added.
In recent weeks, there have huge public outcries since two local dailies reported the missing of containers of money in the tune of LD9 billion but that report was clarified by the government that the alleged money in question was LD$16 billion printed in three countries.
Since then, tension has heightened in Monrovia with the staging of protest by civil society groups near international power broker including the United States and European Union.