Editorial: Prosecute Those Fraudulently Using GVL’s Permit

An investigation conducted by The Monrovia Times has uncovered that a ‘duty free permit’ given Golden Veroleum (Liberia) is being fraudulently abused by some unscrupulous individuals to defraud the Government of Liberia of over US$382,000 in taxes.

According to documents in the possession of The Monrovia Times, GVL’s duty free privilege was unlawfully used to clear ten (10) dump trucks and assorted spare parts from the Freeport of Monrovia belonging to the MHM EKO Liberia Inc. Company earlier this year.

The criminality of using GVL privilege duty free document is currently being probed by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and Crime Services Department of the Liberia National Police (LNP); but during the investigation, an employee of the Ministry of Finance’s Duty Free Section identified as Barry F. Tequah was arrested upon admitting to forging the signature of the Vice President for Strategy and Stakeholders of GVL.

According to a communication dated February 25, 2019, the GVL informed the Liberia National Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue that after they were informed by LRA that their duty free privilege was fraudulently being used by one MHM ECO Liberia Inc. to clear their equipment.

The documents further disclosed that MHM EKO Liberia, Inc. was once denied by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) of obtaining ‘Duty Free Privilege’, but allegedly the management of MHM EKO through an employee of the Ministry of Finance identified as Barry F. Tequah allegedly forged the permit belonging to GVL and successfully cleared their equipment which is currently being allegedly used by some companies.

This is a serious issue that the Liberia National Police must launch an immediate probe to ensure that those responsible for this fraudulent act are made to face the full weight of the law. It is unthinkable for a company to use another company’s duty privilege permit to carry on business activities only to defraud the Liberian Government.

If what we are hearing is truth, then the company that is involved in this criminal and nefarious act must face the full weight of the law; let those who owned this company that is using another company’s permit be prosecuted because they are stealing from the government that is already stranded in the collection of needed revenues.

We are concerned because no serious company will involve in such criminal activities. Companies that are operating in this country must be trusted and not criminal-minded individuals to establish a company and unable to obtain their own duty free privilege. One of the most criminal things done in this situation is for an individual to admit that he forged the signature of the Vice President of GVL and submitted it to the LRA.

That is why we call on the Liberia National Police to be proactive in investigating this fraudulent act carried out by some unscrupulous individuals to defraud the government of needed revenue and place GVL at a disadvantage. This is wrong and must not be condoned. Let the police act promptly to ensure that those involved in this illegal act are investigated, charge and send to court for their nefarious and criminal behavior.

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