U.S. Warns ‘Sanctions ‘on the Table’ for Corrupt Liberian officials If…- Latest Liberian News

MONROVIA – The United States Government’s Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Richard Nephew has warned another batch of sanctions against Liberian officials is imminent if there is no change in behavior.
Ever since three of President Weah’s top officials were slapped with the Global Magnitsky sanction by the Department of Treasury for public corruption in Liberia, there have been mounting speculations that more names including high-profile officials would be hit before the October Presidential and Legislative Elections.

On his visit to Liberia this week, Ambassador Nephew said currently the U.S. is compiling evidence to build up cases for sanctions, saying his announcement should serve as a caveat to those involved in corruption at the detriment of the state to stop.

“We are constantly developing sanction cases. We have a very vigorous evidence gathering process… Our kind of sanction tool and sanction development, I can tell you, is not anything that is going to stop,” Nephew emphatically stated in a live radio appearance in Monrovia.

The Biden Administration, upon its inception, declared corruption as a national security threat to the U.S. The administration, through the State Department then called up Nephew, a nuclear weapon and sanctions expert to lead the U.S. global fight against corruption.

His role as Coordinator on Global Anti-Corruption is to integrate and elevate the fight against corruption across all aspects of U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance.

On his first visit to Liberia, Nephew, joined by the USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force Executive Director Shannon Green met with officials of the Liberian Government, anti-graft agencies, and civil society organizations to reiterate the U.S. views on corruption in Liberia and chat ways to strengthened the fight against corruption.

Addressing the Liberian media in a press conference alongside Ms. Greene at the U.S. Embassy, Nephew said in meetings with the Ministers of Justice and Finance and Development Planning, he and his colleague called on Liberia to step up its fight against corruption and outlined several recommendations this can be achieved. Among them, he said ensuring those accused are prosecuted, support for integrity institutions, and acting on audit reports.

“We very much encouraged, we are very much hope and urge the Government of Liberia to investigate allegations of corrupt behavior and to prosecute those accused accordingly,” he said.

For Ms. Green, she said they made it clear to the officials that corruption was on a high owing to Liberia’s low ranking in the corruption perception index and calls from its citizens to hold officials accountable.
She said as an enduring partner of Liberia, the U.S. Government will be bold in telling the truth to find a solution, adding that corruption continues to impede the development of Liberia.

“It will take that persistent urgent action to hold corrupt officials accountable to unleash the progress that is available for all Liberians and to deliver on its development promises and other economic activities,” she said.

U.S. Ambassador Michael McCarthy

Earlier, U.S. Ambassador Michael McCarthy said Liberia continues to be poor due to the corrosive impact of corruption. Referencing Singapore, he said years back, the Asian country, smaller than the size of Liberia was once swallowed by corruption and bad governance, but when the citizens resolved to clean their country of the menace, they began to build a prosperous nation. And today, Singapore is one of the richest countries on earth with a high GDP.

Liberia, with vast natural resources and a youthful population, can be like Singapore if its citizens and government turn the tide and follow Singapore’s example.

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