US imposes sanctions on high-ranking Liberian officials, accusing them of corruption

On Monday, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on three Liberian officials accused of corruption in their country.

“Through their corruption, these officials have undermined democracy in Liberia for their own benefit,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement.

Officials include Chief of Staff and Secretary of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, Solicitor General and Attorney General Saima Sirinius Cefus, and NPA Managing Director Bill Towai.

McGill is alleged to have engaged in a wide range of corrupt practices, including bribing business owners, accepting bribes from potential investors, and people seeking public office.

The allegations also indicate that he tampered with public procurement contracts to win contracts with companies in which he owned and took bribes to win contracts with companies in which he had a stake.

He is also suspected of embezzling state assets for personal gain, secret cash payments to high-ranking government leaders, and organizing warlords to threaten political rivals.

Cefus is believed to have taken bribes from criminal suspects in exchange for dropping their cases, and that he conspired with money laundering suspects and intimidated prosecutors to stop investigations in exchange for financial gain. He is also accused of falsifying and hiding evidence in a case involving opposition politicians in order to secure his conviction.

Toivai is believed to have arranged for the transfer of $1.5 million in storage fees from the National Ports Authority to a private account, as well as a one-way shipping contract at the Port of Buchanan with a private company he secretly set up.

Source: agencies

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