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Latest: Why Liberia May Not Recover Seized Stolen Assets Forfeited in the UK

 

On May 23rd, 2020, the Liberian government through Solicitor Cyrennius Cephus designated two UK based international  forensic auditors,  financial investigators and prosecutors, namely,  Adeste Advisory Group  and Grant Thornton to investigate, recover procure and repatriate Stolen Assets, irrespective of where they are hidden.

The instruction came more than a month after the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom wrapped up its investigation and came to the conclusion that it would forfeit an amount of US$8million(approx £6.4 million) linked to a Liberian business account in the 1970s, the period when President William V.S. Tubman and his successor, William R. Tolbert were at the helm of power.

According to the NCA, its investigation began when Commerzbank AG London approached the National Economic Crime Centre after noticing unusual activity on an account held by a Liberian company called ‘The Albatross Limited’.

The bank account had been internally investigated and suspended after an individual had tried to set up a new account and move the money, explaining that it was to be paid to various charities. Since then, no one had attempted to touch the money.


The company behind the account was incorporated in Liberia, West Africa, in the 1970s and was purportedly set up to operate large container ships for an international shipping company,” the statement said.

The NCA, on 8 April 2020, issued a Notice of Forfeiture on the account’s balance of $8 million dollars (approx £6.4 million), which investigators argued was part of a fund operated for the purpose of tax evasion, money laundering, bribery and corruption.


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