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Friday, June 14, 2024

IS SENATOR EDWIN SNOWE AFRAID TO TRAVEL TO THE U.S.? SEE REASONS THAT MAY BE RESPONSIBLE

Date:

LIBERIA – Social media is reporting Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe has been denied Visa by the United States Embassy in Monrovia to travel with President George Weah at the United Nations General Assembly. This has not been verified by Smart News Liberia.

But there are others who are suggesting that Senator Snowe willingly declined to travel with the Liberian leader for fear of being arrested.

The reason is simple. The Bomi County Senator has a very tainted record base on his past activities. It has been reported in the past that local and International rights groups have prepared a writ of arrest for the former son-in-law of war convict Charles Taylor.

The reasons stated for the planned arrest of the former Liberia Football Association President vary according to people familiar with the issue-ranging from the alleged theft of over US$1 Million during his time at the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, etc.

It is alleged that the former Montserrado representative, managed to manipulate his way out of court proceedings in which the evidence is clear and vivid.

And because of the way he allegedly manipulated his way out of the court process, sources say the rights groups have sought the assistance of international legal experts to bring Mr. Snowe to justice.

It is alleged the group is very active in the United States and may go into action if the Liberian senators ever appear in that country.

Mr. Snowe is also named by Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission as one of those being responsible for economic crimes in the country.

But basically, an LPRC task force report which exposed former MD Edwin Melvin Snowe and others for their alleged malfeasance at the LPRC may play a part in the refusal of Snowe from travelling to the United.

Pressure has been mounting in and out of Liberia for the arrest of Mr. Snowe and others for the LPRC case.

Information received by Smart News Liberia revealed how rights groups in the diaspora are working with other states and international institutions to have Mr. Edwin Snowe and three others including Richard Devine and Andy Quamie, who worked with the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company during the Gyude Bryant administration arrested for allegedly stealing US$1 million.

The LPRC Story

Edwin Snowe is now a ranking member in the Liberian senate representing the western county of Bomi.

Based upon the binding provisions of the 2003 Accra Peace Accord (APA) signed between representatives of various warring factions, political parties, and civil society groupings to finally end the long years of civil wars in Liberia, a transitional government was formed and ministries, agencies, and public corporations, were accordingly divided among the parties to the marathon meeting held in the Ghanaian capital.

The APA granted the then-outgoing Taylor government, the LPRC’s Managing Director post, which Mr. Edwin Snowe was subsequently designated to occupy for the two years period of the existence of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL).

Mr. Snowe had previously served at the LPRC. He first came to prominence as son-in-Law of the former president, Charles G. Taylor which landed him the lucrative post of Deputy Managing Director for Operations, at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation during the Taylor regime.

But it appears that luck was not on the side of Mr. Snowe and others during his second tenure at the corporation; as they were accused of allegedly misplacing substantial assets of the LPRC and that they could not account for over US$1 million during the LNTG government.

A leaked ‘Resolution’ of LPRC’s Board of Directors, dated January 9, 2007, is revealing that Mr. Snowe and his team of deputies and assistants, were responsible for massive administrative, financial, and operational improprieties, which were made bare in a series of audits and investigative reports into the corporation’s finances and operations, conducted by the United Nations Panel of Experts, Ernst & Young and, a Liberian auditing firm, Monbo & Company.

In reaction to the UN’s Panel of Experts findings, according to the leaked document; an asset recovery task force was created to determine the legal veracity of the discovery and the available evidence of huge losses, as well as recommendations by which the missing LPRC assets could be recovered.

The leaked document: “The Task Force has reviewed several matters; including, several questionable disbursements of funds from LPRC bank accounts, in which employees delivered large amounts of cash, directly to the Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe Jr.” or, “through his Special Assistant.”

Throughout the process of the series of investigative audits and other high profile probes, the now Bomi County Senator never denied the claims leveled against his administration at the LPRC but, repeatedly told investigators that he provided the monies under investigation, to former NTGL Chairman and Head of State, Gyude Bryant, which the latter vehemently denied.

The Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf forwarded the matter to court for prosecution, but at the conclusion of the case, Snowe and his alleged accomplices were acquitted.

But nearly sixteen years on, it seems that the smelly ghost of that era and debacle has been exorcised to haunt Mr. Edwin Melvin Snowe, even with his new democratically acquired prestigious Legislative portfolio.

Disbursements Under Review By the LPRC Asset Recovery Task Force February 10, 2004 IBL check no, 594 US$5,000.00.

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, an employee of LPRC, who cashed the check and gave the US$5,000.00 to the Special Assistant to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe, Jr.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated February 9, 2004, from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller, that stated: “Please issue a check in the sum of ($5,000.00) five thousand United States dollars to the Ministry of Finance for services rendered.”

Mr. Devine’s check request Memorandum led to payment Voucher No. 1395 dated February 10, 2004, which stated as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as public Relations and Gratuity to the Ministry of Finance.”

Although the Memorandum requested a check “to the Ministry of Finance,” the payment Voucher directed that the check be made payable to Olivia Mussa. As directed by the payment Voucher, the check was issued to the LPRC account at the International Bank of Liberia (IBL).

Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it. Ms Mussa states that she immediately gave the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe Jr.

Ms. Mussa states that she gave the money to Mr. Quamie either in the bank or in his office. Mr. Quamie usually accompanied her to the bank for such transactions or joined her in the bank as the withdrawal was being processed. Occasionally she brought the money back to LPRC and gave it to Quamie in his office.

Mussa states that she never gave money to any representative of the NTGL. No request from the Ministry of Finance for this disbursement has been found. The records do not indicate the nature of the ‘services rendered by the Ministry of Finance. No explanation appears in the record as to why the stated purpose of the payment was changed from “services rendered” on the check request Memorandum to “Public Relations and Gratuity” on the Payment Voucher.

No explanation appears in the records as to why this check was issued to Olivia Mussa to be cashed, rather than the check being issued to the Ministry of Finance.

No record has been found showing that this $5,000.00 was ever received by any representative of the Ministry of Finance after it was given to Mr. Snowe’s assistant.

July 23, 2004, Ecobank check no. 000205844 US$15,000.00.

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, an employee of LPRC, who cashed the check and give the US$15,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated July 23, 2004, from Edwin M. Snowe, Managing Director, and Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“Please make available fifteen thousand United States (US$15,000) For Independence Day Celebrations/ public relations purposes.”

This Memorandum led to Payment Voucher No. 365 dated July 23, 2004, which stated the reason for the disbursement:

“Being paid to cover public relations programs for the 157th Independence Celebration”

As directed by a handwritten note that Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller, had made on the Memorandum, a check for US$15,000.00 was made payable and issued to Olivia Mussa.

Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it. She immediately gave the money to G. Andy Quaimie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

Mussa states that she has no knowledge as to what happened with the US$15,000.00 thereafter.

No documents have been located that show that this money was in connection with Independence Day celebrations.

August 9, 2004, Ecobank check no. 00205859, US$50,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, an employee of LPRC, who cashed the check and give the US$50,000.00 to the Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe, Jr.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated August 9, 2004, from Richard B. Devine, LPRC Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif, LPRC Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“By now, I am sure you are aware that the NTLA has introduced a bill intended to repeal the 1989 Act granting LPRC Exclusive Rights over the petroleum industry. To ensure the non-passage of the bill Management has a lot of Public Relations and lobbying.

I have concluded arrangements with the press and some lobbyists and believe that (US$50,000) fifty thousand United States Dollars is quite sufficient to handle the job.

Accordingly, you will please prepare a check for (US$50,000.00) fifty thousand United States Dollars to facilitate the process.”

Comptroller Sheriff appended to the Memorandum a handwritten note directing that the check be made payable to LPRC cashier, Olivia Mussa. Mr. Devine’s Memorandum led to payment Voucher No. 376 dated August 9, 2004, which stated as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as public relations to facilitate the lobbying

The process so as to avoid the passage of the bill repealing the Act that grants LPRC the exclusive right over the petroleum industry”

A check for US$50,000.00 was made payable to Olivia W. Mussa the Chief Cashier at LPRC. The check was taken by Mussa to the bank and cashed. Ms. Mussa states that, although she usually gives money obtained from cashing such checks to G. Andy Quamie for delivery to the Managing Director, on this occasion, pursuant to instructions from Mr. Sherif, she took the money to the office of Board Chairman Frederick Cherue and handed the US$50,000.00 directly to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe, Jr.

The records do not indicate if or how this US$50,000.00 was used to oppose the legislation before the National Transitional Legislative Assembly after it was received by Mr. Snowe.

August 27, 2004 Ecobank check on. 205894 US$19,500.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed the check and gave the money to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated August 27, 2004, 2004 from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“Kindly do a Check for US$19,500.00 (nineteen thousand five hundred United States Dollars) as final payment for lobbying against the NTLA Bill for the deregulation of LPRC Act granting exclusive rights for managing petroleum exclusively.”

The memorandum led to payment Voucher 220 dated August 27, 2004, which gave the reason for the disbursement:

“Being final payment for lobbying against the NTLA Bill for the deregulation of LPRC Act granting exclusive rights for managing petroleum exclusively.”

The check was made payable to Olivia Mussa. After cashing the check she turned the money over to G. Andy Quaimie for delivery to the Managing Director.

No records have been found explaining this disbursement or the commitment of which it was the “final payment.” Any clarification as to this matter will have to come from Edwin M. Snoew Jr.

October 5, 2004, Ecobank check number 00205921 US$10,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed and gave the US$10,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a memorandum dated October 5, 2004, from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Hon., Frederick Cherue.

Through the Managing Director Hon. Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. has asked that we pay the NTLA leadership the amount of (US$10,000.00) ten thousand United States Dollars in reference to the anti-LPRC Bill now before in.”

This Memorandum led to a Payment Voucher dated October 10, 2004, that stated the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment to the NTAL leadership in reference to anti-LPRC Bill.”

The check for US$10,000.00 was issued to Olivia W. Mussa who took it to the bank and cashed it. Mussa immediately gives the entire US$10,000.00 to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director, either in the bank or in his office.

Ms. Mussa states that she never gave any money directly to any representative of the NTGL. No records have been located, establishing how this US$10,000.00 was used after it was given to Mr. Snowe’s assistant.

November 18, 2004 LBDI check No. 55185 US$15,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed the check and gave the US$15,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated November 18, 2004, from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The memorandum stated:

“As per directive of the Chairman, C. Gyude Bryant through the Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe, Jr. you are authorized to please make payment of (US$15,000.00) fifteen thousand United States Dollars for security purposes.

Please charge same to GOL contribution.”

This Memorandum led to payment voucher 924 dated November 18, 2004, which stated the reason for the disbursement

“Being payment security operations as per the directive of the Chairman, C. Gyude Bryant.”

The check for US$15,000.00 was issued to Olivia W. Mussa, who took it to the bank and cashed it. Ms. Mussa immediately gave the entire US$15,000.00 to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director, either in the bank or in his office.

No documents have been located, establishing how this US$15,000.00 was used after it was given to Mr. Snowe’s assistant.

December 3, 2004 LBDI check No. 55202 US$25,000.00

This check was the first of three checks, totaling US$100,000.00, issued in response to a Memorandum dated November 26, 2004, from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum states:

“The Chairman (NTGL) Hon. Gyude Bryant through the office of the Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe Jr. has directed that LPRC sponsor the cost of lobbying for the passage of the Electoral Reform Bill currently at the NTLA through a contribution of ($100,000.00) One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars. Due to our current financial position, I have arranged a plan as follows:

December 3, 2004 ——————- US$25,000.00

December 13, 2004——————- US$25,000.00

December 15, 2004 —————— US$50,000.00

Total ———————————-US$100,000.00

I will communicate with you on each payment.”

The Payment Voucher for December 15, 2004, repeated the original purpose for the disbursement:

“Being Management’s contribution toward the cost of the lobby for the passage of the Electoral Reform bill that is currently at the NTLA.”

But, the payment vouchers for the payments of December 3, 2004, and December 13, 2004 (each for US$25,000.00) gave a different reason for the disbursements, namely:

“Being payment as management’s contribution for Government of Liberia (GOL) Security operations.”

All three checks, including this first check for US$25,000.00, were made payable to Olivia Mussa., who cashed the checks and turned the money over to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe, Jr.

Ms. Mussa states she never delivered any money to the NTLA or to any GOL security personnel.

No. records have been found showing the usage of this US$25,000.00 after it was received by Mr. Snowe’s assistant.

December 13, 2004 LBDI check No. 55207 US$25,000.00

This is the second check issued in response to Mr. Devine’s Memorandum of November 26, 2004.

Although, Mr. Devine originally said that the money was to be used for “the cost of lobbying for passage of the Electoral Reform bill”, the payment voucher stated claimed that the money was for “GOL security operations,” an altogether different function.

December 15, 2004 Ecobank check No. 00205980 US$50,000.00

This was the third check issued in response to Mr. Devine’s Memorandum of November 26, 2004.

This time, the payment voucher repeated the originally stated purpose for the disbursement:

“Bing Management contribution toward the cost of lobby for the passage of the Electoral Reform bill that is currently at the NTLA.”

Again the check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed it and turned the US$50,000.00 in cash over to Mr. Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

No records have been found showing what happened to this US$50,000.00 after it was delivered to Mr. Snowe’s assistant.

December 17, 2004 Ecobank check No. 00205983 US$110,000.

This check was made payable to Barnabas Kasor who cashed the check and gave the US$110,000.00 in cash to Edwin M. Snowe on Ashmun Street.

This check for US$110,000.00 and the check on December 29, 2004, for US$65,000.00 were initiated by a Memorandum dated November 26, 2004, from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“You will kindly prepare a check of US$175,000.00 (One Hundred Seven-Five Thousand United States Dollars) as partial dividend to the GOL against remittance made to LPRC for West Oil Inc.”

This Memorandum was implemented by two checks made payable to Barnabas Kasor, Administrative Assistant to Richard Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs.

The payment voucher for the first check of US$110,000.00 was dated December 17, 2004. The voucher repeated the original purpose for the disbursement:

“Being partial as dividend pledged to the Government of Liberia (GOL)”

Although supposedly being a payment of dividends, the check was not issued to the Ministry of Finance. Instead, the check was made payable to Barnabas Kasor, the Administrative Assistant to Deputy Managing Director Richard Devine.

Mr. Kasor states that he cashed the check and delivered all US$10,000.00 to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe Jr. Kasor states that the exchange occurred on the public street in downtown Monrovia on Ashmun Street near the E. J. Roye Building. Mr. Snowe was driving himself and was accompanied by his wife.

The minutes of the LPRC Board of Directors do not reveal any resolutions directing the payment of dividends or authorizing the borrowing of money to pay dividends. No records show what Mr. Snowe did with the US$110,000.00.

December 29, 2004, LBDI check number 55278 US$65,000.00

The payment voucher for the December 29, 2004 disbursement of US$65,000.00 stated as the reason:

“Being final payment as dividend to the Government of Liberia (GOL)

Mr. Kasor states that after cashing the check, he delivered the money to Richard Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs. Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe was on a holiday break away from the office.

No explanation appears in the records as to why these two disbursements, totaling US$175,000.00 in “dividend” payments were made by checks to be cashed by an employee of LPRC, rather than by checks issued to the Ministry of Finance.

No record has been found showing that this US$65,000.00 was ever received by the Ministry of Finance after it was delivered to Mr. Snowe.

February 8, 2005, Ecobank check number 0002058799 US$14,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, an employee of LPRC, who cashed the check and gave the US$14,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated February 8, 2005, from Edwin Snowe, Managing Director, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller the Memorandum stated:

“Kindly prepare a check for fourteen thousand United States Dollars to facilitate a nationwide tour of his Excellency Charles Gyude Bryant, Chairman, National Transitional Government of Liberia.”

This Memorandum led to payment voucher No. 703, dated February 6, 2005, that stated as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as management contribution toward the Nation Wide Tour of the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, H.E. Charles G. Bryant.”

A check for US$14,000.00 was issued to Olivia Mussa, the Chief Cashier at LPRC. Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it. Ms. Mussa states that she immediately gave the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a memorandum dated February 8, 2005, from Edwin Snowe, Managing Director, to Siaka A Sherif, Comptroller the Memorandum stated:

“Kindly prepare a check for fourteen thousand United States Dollars to facilitate a nationwide tour of his Excellency Charles Gyude Bryant, Chairman, National Transitional Government of Liberia.”

This Memorandum led to payment voucher No. 703, dated February 6, 2005, that stated as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as management contribution toward the Nation Wide Tour of the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, H.E. Charles G. Bryant.”

A check for US$14,000.00 was issued to Olivia Mussa, the Chief Cashier at LPRC. Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it. Ms. Mussa states that she immediately gave the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

Ms. Mussa states that she has no knowledge as to what ultimately happened to the money after she transferred it to Mr. Quamie. In an interview with the UN Panel of Experts, Mr. Snowe admitted that he had received the money. He stated that he had given the money to C. Gyude Bryant, Chairman of the NTGL.

The UN Panel of Experts reports that Mr. Bryant categorically denied ever receiving this money. Therefore, the last acknowledged recipient of this US$14,000.00 was Mr. Snowe.

February 16, 2005, Ecobank check number 00025856 US$100,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, an employee of LPRC, who cashed the check and give the US$100,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a check request Memorandum dated February 16, 2005, from Edwin M. Snowe, Managing Director, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“H.E. Charles Gyude, Bryant, Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia is scheduled to visit the South Eastern Region of Liberia beginning Monday, February 21, 2005.

In view thereof, he has asked, and you are accordingly authorized to make available one hundred fifty United States Dollars (US$150,000.00) to facilitate his visit.”

This memorandum led to payment voucher No. 735 dated February 16, 2005 that stated as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as management contribution toward the travel of the Chairman of the NTGL, H.E. Charles Gyude Bryant to the South East region of Liberia.”

A handwritten note by Richard Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, dissected that the amount of the check be US$100,000.00 instead of the US$150,000.00 originally requested in the Memorandum.

A check for US$100,000.00 was issued payable to Olivia Mussa, the Chief Cashier at LPRC. Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it. Ms. Mussa states that she gave the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director

Mussa states that she has no knowledge as to what happened to the US$100,000.00 after she transferred it to Mr. Quamie.

Mr. Snowe acknowledged that he had received the money and stated that he had given the money to Mr. Bryant. The UN Panel of Experts reported that Mr. Bryant categorically denied having received any of this money.

Therefore, Mr. Snowe is the last acknowledged recipient of this US$100,000.00.

March 23, 2005, LBDI check number 74905 US$75,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, an employee of LPRC who cashed the check and gave the US$75,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

Payment Voucher 682 dated March 23, 2005, stated as the reason for this disbursement:

“Being payment as management contribution toward the tour of the Chairman to the Northern region of Liberia.”

This disbursement was initiated by a handwritten note by Comptroller Siaka Sherif instructing that a check be issued to Chief Cashier Olivia Mussa.

Sherif’s handwritten directive was made on a copy of a letter dated March 23, 2004 (all of the notations on the letter indicate that the year contained a typographical error and that the year was 2005).

The letter from Richard Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Mr. Charles Carron, Chief Executive Officer of the Monrovia Trading Corporation, stated:

“To facilitate the tour of the Chairman to northern Liberia, the LPRC has been asked to contribute (US$75,000.00) Seventy-Five thousand United States Dollars. Because of our low cash position, we request that kindly advance us the same.

Repayment will be made immediately upon the arrival of your next vessel.”

As directed by Mr. Sherif, the check for US$75,000.00 was made payable to Olivia Mussa, the Chief Cashier at LPRC. Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it.  Mussa states that she immediately gave the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe Jr.

The records do not indicate who received the US$75,000.00 advanced by Monrovia Trading Corporations or whether it was in fact used for a tour by the NTGL Chairman of the Northern region of Liberia. No official request for such assistance has been located. NTGL Chairman Bryant has denied ever receiving these funds.

The records also do not show who ultimately received the US$75,000.00 that Ms. Mussa gave to Mr. Snowe’s special assistant.

April 4, 2005, Ecobank Project Account check No. 297101 US$20,000.00

In 2005, LPRC borrowed US$700,000.00 on a short-term loan from Ecobank. The stated purpose was to make capital improvements. The Board resolution authorizing the loan specified that the money be:

“… for the carrying out of the complete maintenance and repairs of equipment to include fuel tanks and the construction of new loading system.”

The bank loan documents reaffirmed the purpose of the loan. The Ecobank Facility Letter stated the purpose of the loan:

“Representing a loan Facility for the repair and maintenance of Equipment (fuel tanks) for the extending operations of the Institution.”

The US$700,000.00 from this loan was placed in a separate “Project Account,” at Ecobank. All of the funds in this account were disbursed. But, an audit of this account by the certified accounting firm of Monbo & Company established that only US$437,530.00 was used for the capital improvements and repairs.

More than US$300,000.00 was used for other purposes.

One such disbursement from the Ecobank “Project Account” checked no. 2972101 made out to “Cash” for US$20,000.00.

This disbursement was “off the books.” It is not recorded in any journal, no purpose appears on the memo line of the check, and the disbursement does not appear to have related to the tank repairs for which the Project Account was established.

The check was signed by Deputy Managing Director Richard Devine and Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe. The check was endorsed on the back by Mr. Devine and Mr. Edwin M. Snowe and was cashed.

No records have been located showing how Mr. Devine and Mr. Snowe used this US$20,000.00.

May 9, 2005 Ecobank check No. 00258648 US$65,000.00

This check was made payable to Barnabas Kasor, an employee of LPRC, who cashed the check and gave the US$65,000.00 to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum stating:

“By directive of the Chairman H.E. Gyude Bryant, and as instructed by the Managing Director, you are asked to prepare a cheque for (US$65,000.00) Sixty-Five Thousand United States Dollars;

Same being LPRC’s contribution to facilitating the travel of the Chairman, Gyude Bryant to the United States.”

The records contained no documentary evidence of a directive from Chairman Bryant. The Payment Voucher was issued on May 9, 2005, and directed that the check be made on the LPRC account at Ecobank and gave as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as management’s contribution to facilitating the travel of the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, his H.E. Charles Gyude Bryant to the United States of America”

A handwritten note made on the payment voucher 570 directed:

“Paycheck to Barnabas Kasor for easy encashment.”

Ecobank check No. 00258648 was made payable to Barnabas Kasor, Administrative Assistant to Richard Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs.

Mr. Kasor cashed the check on May 9, 2005. Kasor states that he delivered the US$65,000.00 to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe at his LPRC office.

No records have been found from the Chairmen of the NTGL or any other governmental official requesting of acknowledging these funds.

Mr. Kasor does not know what happened with the money after it was delivered to Snowe.

Mr. Snowe stated to the UN Panel of Experts that he had given this money t C. Gyude Bryant, the Chairman of the NTGL. Mr. Bryant categorically denied having received this money.

The last confirmed recipient of this US$65,000.00 is Edwin M. Snowe Jr.

May 17, 2005, Ecobank “Project Account” check No. number 00297110 US$60,000.00

As Monbo & Company has observed, this check was another disbursement from the Project Account not related to the facilities repairs for which the Project Account was established.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated May 17, 2005, from Richard B. Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs to Siaka A. Sherif Comptroller, that stated:

“By directive of the Chairman H.E. Gyude Bryant, and as instructed by the Managing Director, you are asked to prepare a check for (US$60,000.00) Sixty Thousand United States Dollars out of our Special Project Account; the same being LPRC’s additional contribution to facilitate the travel of the Chairman, H.E. Gyude Bryant to the United States.”

The Payment Voucher was issued on May 17, 2005, and the check for US$60,000.00 be made on the LPRC Project Account,” the Payment Voucher gave as the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment to facilitate the travel of the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia, H.E. Charles Gyude Bryant to the United States of America. This is an additional payment.”

A handwritten note by Mr. Sherif directed that this check be drawn on the “Ecobank Project Account,” even though the intended use of the funds was not related to the tank repair project for which the “Project Account.” Was established. A second handwritten note on Payment Voucher no. 570 directed:

“Paycheck to Barnabas Kasor for easy encashment.”

Ecobank Project Account check no. 00297110 was made payable to Barnabas Kasor, Administrative Assistant to Richard Devine, Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs. Mr. Kasor cashed the check on May 17, 2005, and delivered the US$60,000.00 to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe at his office.

No records have been found from the Chairman of the NTGL or any other governmental official requesting these funds. No documents show why these funds were withdrawn from this Project Account rather than from one of the LPRC operating accounts.

Mr. Kasor does not know what happened to the US$60,000.00 after it was delivered to Mr. Snowe. In an interview with the UN Panel of Experts, Mr. Sonwe stated that he had delivered these funds to Mr. Bryant, Chairman of the NTGL. Mr. Bryant categorically denied to the panel that he had received this money. Therefore, the last acknowledged recipient of this US$60,000.00 was Mr. Snowe.

May 26, 2005, Ecobank “Project Account” check no. 00297118 US$109,000.00

This check, was also drawn on the Ecobank Project Account and was made payable to Olivia Mussa.

The payment voucher states that the funds were to be used as:

“Honorarium to Managers”

No such budget category or board approval of this disbursement could be found in the records of LPRC. Nor is there any document that shows that this disbursement was related in any way to the tank repairs for which the project Account was established.

Ms. Mussa cashed the check and delivered the US$109,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director. Mr. Edwin M. Snowe Jr.

No records have been found explaining this disbursement or establishing how these funds have been used.

The last confirmed recipient of this US$109,000.00 is Mr. Snowe’s special assistant.

May 28, 2005, Ecobank “Project Account” check no. 00297120 US$8,000.00

This check was another disbursement from the project account.

Monbo & Co noted that the stated purpose of fulfilling a “pledge to the NTLA”

Was not related to the tank repairs for which the project account was established. Mr. Kasor cashed the check on May 28, 2005, and delivered the US$8,000.00 TO Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe at his LPRC office.

No records have been found documenting this “pledge’ to the NTLA or explaining why the LPRC operating account.

No records show what happened to this US$8,000.00 after it was delivered to Mr. Snowe.

August 4, 2005, LBDI check no. 74964 US$11,000.00 (of which US$5,000.00 is under review)

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed the check and gave the entire US$11,000.00 to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated August 4, 2005 from Richard B. Devine Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“By directive of the Managing Director, please make these urgent payments.

They are:

Competitive Bidding Committee US$4,500.00

Gratuity to NTLA US$5,000.00

John Wangalo US$500.00

TOTAL                                                   US$11,000.00”

The Payment Voucher dated August 4, 2005, stated the reasons for the disbursement: “Being payment to the Competitive Committee, Gratuity to NTLA and John Wangalo”

A single check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed the check and gave the US$11,000.00 to G. Andy Quamie, Special Assistant to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe.

Mussa has no knowledge as to whether these funds were subsequently distributed as called for in Mr. Devine’s Memorandum and the payment voucher.

No records have been found explaining why LPRC would be giving a “gratuity” of US$5,000.00 to the NTLA collectively or to any member of that body.

August 12, 2005 Ecobank check no 00258746 US$10.000.00.

This check was made payable to “Cash” and was apparently cashed by a local business person.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated August 12, 2005, from Richard B. Deputy Managing Director for Fiscal Affairs to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated: “The Managing Director acting upon instruction of chairman Gyude Bryant has dissected that we pay the sum of (US$10.000.00) Ten Thousand United States Dollars to the Ministry of Justice for Security Operations.”

The payment voucher, dated August 12, 2005, stated the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment to the Ministry of Justice for Security Operations as per the instruction of the Chairman of the NTGL H.E. Gyude Bryant.”

But the check was not issued to the Ministry of Justice. Instead, a check was signed by Mr. Sherif and Mr. Snowe payable to “Cash.”

The check was ultimately deposited into the bank account of Ali Kafel of West Oil.

No documents have been found showing that this US$10,000.00 reached the Ministry of Justice or was used for security purposes.

August 19, 2005 Ecobank check no 0025748 US$5,000.00

This check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed it and gave the funds to the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum, dated August 19, 2005, from Edwin Snowe, Managing Director. To Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“By directive of Counselor Frederick D. Cherue, Chairman of the LPRC Board of Directors, you are hereby directed to issue a check of US$5,000.00 (Five Thousand United States Dollars) in fulfillment of a commitment made to the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA).” This Memorandum led to a payment voucher, dated August 17, 2005, that stated the reason for the disbursement: “Being payment for public relations as it relates to the commitment made by the Managing Director to the National Transitional Legislative Assembly”

A check for US$5,000.00 was issued to Olivia Mussa, the Chief Cashier at LPRC. Ms. Mussa took the check to the bank and cashed it. Ms. Mussa states that she immediately gave the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to the Managing Director.

Mussa states that she has no knowledge as to what happened with the US$5,000.00 after she transferred it to Mr. Quamie.

The records do not show the nature of any “commitment” that the Managing Director made to the NTLA. Nor do the records show what happened to this US$5,000.00 after it was given to Mr. Snowe’s assistant.

December 31, 2005, LBDI check no. 75025 US$25,000.00

This check was made payable to Barnabas Kasor, who cashed the check and delivered the US$25,000.00 to Managing Director Edwin M. Snowe.

This disbursement was initiated by a Memorandum dated December 31, 2005, from Frederick D. Cherue, Chairman of the Board of Directors to Edwin Snowe, Managing Director, to Siaka A. Sherif, Comptroller. The Memorandum stated:

“As per the discussion regarding fuel for the Chairman’s House, and the Executive Mansion, including assistance/gift for Christmas and Year-End Bonus, Please disburse to the Office of the Chairman of the NTGL the amount of (US$25,000) Twenty-five Thousand Dollars and charge same to GOL donation.”

This Memorandum led to a payment voucher dated December 31, 2005, that stated the reason for the disbursement:

“Being payment as Christmas bonus and for the purchase of fuel for the Executant Mansion and the residence of Chairman Charles G. Bryant…

After cashing the check, Mr. Kasor delivered the money to Mr. Snowe. No records have been found establishing how this US$25,000.00 was actually used.

January 5-6, 2006 Three checks totaling US$25,000.00.

On January 5-6, 2006 three checks were issued payable to Olivia Mussa:

January 5, 2006, US$8,000.00 by LBDI check no. 75028,

January 5, 2006, US$7,000.00 by IBL check no. 764

January 6, 2006, US$10,000.00 by Ecobank no. 323862

These disbursements were initiated by a Memorandum dated December 30, 2005, from Edwin M. Snowe to Siaka A. Sherif. The Memorandum stated: “As per the request of Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant you are to make available US$25,000.00 (Twenty-five Thousand United States Dollars) to the Special Security Services (SSS) for security operation.”

The payment vouchers repeated the reason for these disbursements as: “Being payment for security operations of the Special Security Services”

All three checks totaling US$25,000.00 were made payable to Olivia Mussa, who cashed each check and delivered the money to G. Andy Quamie, the Special Assistant to Managing Director Edwin Snowe.

No records have been found showing that this US$25,000.00 was passed on to SSS or was used by the GOL for security operations.

January 12, 2006 IBL check no. 768 US$100,000.00

This check was issued to Olivia Mussa and cashed by her. She gave the money to Mr. Snowe’s special assistant four days before the end of the National Transitional Government of Liberia.

This disbursement was initiated by a letter from Frederick D. Cherue, Chairman of the Board of Directors to Managing Edwin Snowe that stated:

“In a meeting with the Chairman of the Liberia National Transitional Government, we discussed his trip to the ECOWAS Summit to be held in Niamey, Niger, including his delegation, Given the central government’s financial position, it was suggested, discussed, and agreed that LPRC assists with financing this trip.

Accordingly, I hereby direct that you liaise with the office of the Chairman to work out the financial details of the trip and make the necessary disbursement to his office and charge the same to the GOL account.

Please furnish me with the details of the disbursement for the board’s attention and information.”

The payment voucher dated January 12, 2006, stated that the reason for this US$100,000.00 was: “Being payment to facilitate the trip of the Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia to Niamey, Niger to attend ECOWAS summit.”

No documents have been found showing that the chairman or any other representative of the GOL requested that LPRC provide this US$100,000.00.

Mr. Cherus’s memoranda requested that LPRC.

“Liaise with the office of the Chairman,” that “the financial details of the trip” be worked out, and that Mr. Cherue is furnished the details “for the board’s attention and information.”

None of these measures appear to have been taken.

Instead, a check was made payable to Olivia Mussa, the Chief Cashier at LPRC. Ms. Mussa cashed the check and gave the US$100,000.00 to G. Andy Quamie, Special Assistant to the Managing Director, Edwin M. Snowe.

No records have been found showing how this US$100,000.00 was distributed or used after it was given to Mr. Snowe’s special assistant. This entire transaction occurred four days before the inauguration of the newly elected Government of Liberia.

Efforts made by Smart News Liberia to contact Mr. Snowe failed as his phone rang endlessly and he could not also respond to our text message.

smartnews
Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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