President Boakai Answers CENTAL’s Call, Suspends FIA Director General Stanley Ford

By : Laymah Kollie

Liberia-March 31,2024-: Few days after the Center for Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL) echoed calls to President Joseph Boakai to suspend Mr. Stanley Ford for procedural violations, the President has with immediate effect suspended Director General of the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) for allegations of financial and other malpractices at the institution.

CENTAL in a press conference Wednesday March 28,2024 stated that if the government should tackle corruption, anti-corruption institutions should be led by people with integrity.

on February 27, 2024, Frontpage Africa reported that the Financial Intelligence Agency of Liberia (FIA), which is mandated to investigate financial crimes was alleged to have been caught in the web of dubious financial dealings and crimes. According to the report, over one million United States Dollars was disbursed in the name of the Comptroller, including over US$500 Thousand withdrawn on the same day it was transferred by the Central Bank of Liberia. Another report placed the total amount involved in the scandal to over US$6 million.

“For us, these reports are not just disturbing but have the proclivity to erode citizens and development partners’ trust in institutions like the FIA clothed with the authority to fight corruption and other shady financial dealings, including money laundering”

“If not properly disposed of, these allegations could hamper the credibility of the institution, including the outcomes of sanctions and other efforts made to enforce their very important mandate” Mr. Anderson D. Miamen, Executive Director of CENTAL said.

Adding, “For example, fines imposed on insurance companies, banks, gaming companies and other entities for violation of financial procedures could face stiff challenges. Also, responsible institutions might hesitate to make suspicious transaction reports to FIA, as required by its 2022 amended act”

However, the President on March 29,2024, suspended Mr. Stanley Ford for time indefinite. The statement posted via the Executive Mansion page quoted that President Boakai takes no tolerance in any form of malpractice.

”The President has made it clear that there is no tolerance for any form of malpractice and, as such, he has directed the Ministry of Justice to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the matter. He expressed confidence that the investigation will ensure that justice is served”

The President has further urged Mr. Ford to submit himself to the investigation and cooperate fully to make sure that the matter is resolved expeditiously.

”This move by the Liberian Leader is a clear demonstration of his commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that public officials are held accountable for their actions” the release said.

Center for Transparency and Accountability is a civil society institution working in to eradicate corruption.

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