News Column

Ebola Chopping Demands Trial - NSA Recommends

August 22, 2014

Winston W. Parley

The Liberian Government has pressed multiple charges against a World Bank Project Manager and "most senior" person at the Ministry of Finance's Information Technology Section, Daniel Roberts on claims that he attempted to defraud US$87, 486 to fight the deadly Ebola virus.

Suspect Roberts has been charged with economic sabotage, forgery, impersonating a government official and attempted theft, with a recommendation to be prosecuted by the Justice Ministry.

"Suspect Daniel Roberts, without regard to humanity and efforts against Ebla epidemic that is tragically taking away the lives of our fellow compatriots, elected to use the name of this national tragedy as a pretext to steal public funds," said the NSA.

Liberia has a high 'Ebola' death toll among the three West African countries badly hit by the killer disease; and the government and partners are struggling with less success to combat the disease as desperate crowd loot holding unit, allowing Ebola suspects to flee into communities in Monrovia.

On August 13, 2014, the newly legislated Liberia Revenue Authority or LRA, alerted the National Security Agency of "a progressive fraud" being perpetrated by an unidentified Ministry of Finance employee.

Far in 2010 when Liberia had no experience of Ebola and the LRA was by then just a department at the Finance Ministry, a Canadian Information Technology or IT company Sogema Technologies, Incorporated was contracted by the government to provide a given computer software for the revenue department at an unspecified cost.

Though the agreement had long been reached, however, the LRA noted that quite recently, Sogema Technologies sought verification on two emails separately dated August 4 and 6, requesting Sogema to refund US$87,486.00 out of funds paid to it for the IT project to be "redirected" to efforts against the Ebola outbreak.

The author of the emails had directed the IT Company to wire the money through an account opened at the United Bank for Africa, Liberia with beneficiary "DR & N IT and business consultant, instead of the government's account, a joint NAS/LRA probe found.

According to the investigation, the first email had the signature of the Deputy Minister for Revenue, Dr. James F. Kollie, while the second mail was supposedly sent from Dr. Kollie's gmail address, but signed "by a Dniel."

When Dr. Kollie was invited during the investigation, he denied knowledge of the letters and claimed his signature was electronically co pied and pasted on one of the letters, the NSA said.He finally said he has not owned a gmail address, submitting his email to the investigators as

As for suspect Daniel Robert, he denied knowledge as well, but the NSA said at one stage of the investigation, he requested to use the bathroom at which time he allegedly called two office staff- Boye Jarwleh and Eric Gould via phone to take his IBM Tankpad laptop computer bag into his car.

Not knowing that he was being monitored by the NSA while in the bathroom, Robert, Jarwleh and Gould were all immediately arrested on August 13, along with the bag to prevent thwarting investigators' efforts to secure "evidence."

At the NSA Headquarters, the investigators said Jarwleh and Gould admitted being instructed by Roberts to take his computer into his car. But the NSA noted that in the presence of suspect Roberts's attorneys, he allegedly refused to make any written statement.

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Source: AllAfrica

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