LIBERIA – President George Weah has ordered an immediate halt to the issuance of diplomatic passports following a FrontPageAfrica report that a Liberian diplomatic passport was discovered in the home of Sheik Bassirou Kante following his arrest for money laundering conspiracy by FBI agents in the United States.
At the same, the President directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, to immediately investigate the circumstances leading to the issuance of Liberia’s Diplomatic passport to Sheik Bassirou Kante, who was recently arrested in the U.S.
Sheik Bassirou Kante is the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Gold Incorporated and a renowned event planner.
In his directive, the President ordered that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately stop the issuance of diplomatic passports to anyone unless otherwise authorized by him.
The Liberian Chief Executive also directed Minister Kemeyah to submit a full report detailing a review of how Liberian diplomatic passports are issued.
The report by the Foreign Minister is to be submitted within one week of the date of the President’s directive, May 10, 2022.
It remains unclear how Mr. Kante obtained the diplomatic passport as he is not an employee of the government of Liberia nor is he known to be a representative of the government at any of Liberia’s Foreign Missions.
On Monday, May 9, 2022, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor distanced herself from helping Bassirou obtain the diplomatic passport, despite acknowledging knowing him.
The VP rebuttal was triggered by the report by the U.S. Agents that their search of the defendant’s email unveiled that he had a “close personal relationship” with the Vice President of Liberia.
Bassirou is, however, known to have a close relationship with the Liberian government. In February, he single-handedly paid the cost of flying in Nigerian superstars P-Square on a private jet to perform during the Bicentennial Celebrations. He paid the twin superstars US$100,000 on the ground that such was his contribution to the Bicentennial Celebration.