LIBERIA – The Financial Intelligent Unit of Liberia has recovered over US$284,000 from a money laundering firm and deposited the same into the General Revenue Account of Liberia
In November 2021, a source filed a complaint with the FIUL alleging wire fraud and money laundering by a firm identified as Korlane Investment Limited Liability Company and its corporate owners.
FIUL using its statutory power, as enshrined in its Act of 2012, commenced analysis and preliminary investigation into the allegations.
A press release from the FIUL says that based on reasonable suspicion of Money Laundering reinforced by findings of preliminary investigations, a freezing order was placed on all the company’s accounts in Liberia; thus, protecting alleged proceeds of crime pending the outcome of a full-scaled investigation and subsequent criminal trial.
The release points out that investigators discovered that Korlane Investment Limited Liability Company operated a shell entity in Liberia without office, staff, etc., and opened and used its accounts in Liberia to launder, conceal and direct alleged stolen funds generated through unusual transactions from wire fraud, which it considers a predicate crime of money laundering.
It also says further investigators found that said alleged ill-gotten funds were usually withdrawn by a foreign national named Patrick Hermann Diega Wahi who comes to Liberia to effect withdrawal under the authority of Evgene Nikisuit, Korlane’s account holder, a press statement released by FIUL said.
The release states that in early January 2022, Korlane Investments Liberia Limited Liability Company and its corporate owners including Patrick Hermann Diega Wahi, Evgene Nikisuit, and others to be identified were indicted by the Grand Jury for Montserrado County for the crimes of Money Laundering, Wire fraud, Theft of Property, and criminal conspiracy.
Upon obtaining a writ of arrest by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Patrick Hermann Diega Wahi who had come to Liberia to withdraw the said proceeds- evaded arrest and absconded from the bailiwicks of the Republic of Liberia.
According to the press release, during the May Term of Court, the case was called for trial based on a notice of assignment, and the absence of the defendants was noted by the Court.
It said thereafter, a motion to confiscate the proceeds was filed consistent with the Provisional Remedies Proceeds of Crimes Act of 2013.
The motion was assigned for hearing and argued. Thereafter, the release says the Presiding Judge of Criminal Court C granted the motion and ordered the proceeds of over US $234,000 confiscated and transferred to the General Revenue Account of Liberia by the FIUL.
The release further indicates that as mandated by the Court, the FIUL has duly transferred said amount to the General Revenue Account.
On the other hand, according to the press release, FIUL has recently recovered US $ 50,000.00 from a company operating in Liberia and evaded taxes.
The press release notes that the matter was brought to the attention of FIUL by a source and that in exercising its powers, the FIUL jointly with the Ministry of Justice restricted the corporate accounts of the company.
The release disclosed that in collaboration with the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the said amount was recovered representing the tax liabilities of the Company.
And that based on the mandate from the Civil law Court for Montserrado County, the said amount has been transferred to the Government of Liberia’s general revenue account, the release states.
The FIUL, therefore, commends the government of Liberia for its demonstrated will to tackle money laundering and appreciates the public confidence reposed in it. The FIUL restates its recommitment to robustly fight to secure Liberia’s financial space from being used by enablers and launderers.