Lawmakers to Probe NPA, APM Terminals, Others in Missing L$16 Billion

MONROVIA, Montserrado – In the wake of the mysterious disappearance of L$16 billion from the Freeport of Monrovia and Roberts International Airport, two members of the House of Representatives have called on their colleagues to convene an extraordinary session to probe into the matter.

The two lawmakers are Rep. Zoe Emmanuel Pennue of Grand Gedeh’s first district and Rep. Thomas Alexander Goshua of Grand Bassa’s fifth district.

Lawmakers are currently on a break and are not expected to reconvene until January 2019, however, the two representatives want to extend the session which ended September 14.

Pennue, who chairs the House Committee on State Enterprises and Autonomous Agencies, cited authorities of the National Port Authority, Customs, APM Terminals, and Roberts International Airport to appear on Friday, September 21 to provide an explanation on the apparent disappearance of containers and bags containing Liberian banknotes.

Pennue said lawmakers are concerned and want to determine the whereabouts of the supposedly missing banknotes and “statements from the witnesses could influence further proceedings into the matter.”

He noted that such issues made it difficult for Liberia to seek foreign support.

Rep. Goshua added his voice to Pennue’s, calling on his colleagues to return immediately from their constituency break to probe the allegations of the missing Liberian banknotes. He said the issue was a matter of national security.

At the same time, Edward Forh, former representative of Montserrado’s 16th district, has spoken up to say it was an error to print the additional banknotes by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration.

In 2016, Forh was one of several lawmakers who opposed the printing of a separate L$5 billion in Liberian dollars. At the time, the Central Bank said those notes would be used to replace mutilated banknotes. He said the printing of the banknotes was political and could devalue the country’s currency.

The former lawmaker expressed shock over the disappearance of the L$16 billion batch and called for a comprehensive investigation.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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