By Alva M. Wolokolie
The Government of Liberia through the Justice Ministry has indicted several individuals including former Managing Director of Roberts International Airport (RIA) Ms. Ellen Corkrum, former RIA Board Chairman Musa Bility for transferring about US$269,000 from Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to a bogus company, Diaspora Consulting Firm. Others indicted by the government are Melvin Johnson, who is said to be the fiancé of Ms. Corkrum, one Momar Dieng a Senegalese of the Diaspora Company, Jeremi Tegle, former head of operations for FiBank, Justine Ogugua, a Nigerian also of the bank.
In another case, the government has indicted and placed behind bar a Lebanese national, Edmond Kassabli for alleged human trafficking and gang rape.
According to sources in the corridor of the Justice Ministry, Mr. Bility and Ms. Corkrum are held responsible for failing to adhere to the Board’s policy when it comes to authorization of money from the bank.
The two former bosses wrote the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) on December 4, 2012 to award contract to the Diaspora Consulting Firm but the PPCC replied on December 6, 2012 denying their request on grounds that investigation revealed that the company is a bogus one.
Our sources told the INQUIRER yesterday that Musa and Corkrum allegedly transferred US$125,000 on December 10, 2012, for the second time again and transferred another US$125,000 on December 13, 2012 and lastly did another US$19,000 transfer on December 18, 2012, to the bogus company.
An investigation uncovered that one Momar Dieng, a Senegalese living in the USA associated with the Diapora Company received the money.
It was also established that Ms. Ellen Corkrum allegedly connived with FiBank employees Justine Ogugua and Jeremi Tegle, former head of operations at the bank to transfer about US$56,750.000 to her fiancé Melvin Johnson and Associates through one JP Morgan Chase Account in the USA.
For the Lebanese national, the government says Mr. Kassabli has been held for trafficking in Human Being and Migrant Smuggling, Gang Rape, Possession and sale of Physical Object for lethal use.
The defendant Edmond Kassabli operates the Moulin Rouje Bar and Restaurant on Center Street in downtown Monrovia and use the name to recruit persons by placing them under the pretense that they would be employed to work in said restaurant either as bar attendant, cook and waitress and would be paid no less than US$500.00 per month which commitment he failed to uphold when the victims arrived.
Mr. Kassabli brought in 5 Moroccan nationals and a Tunisian by means of coercion, deception, abuse of a position of vulnerability and payments of benefits to achieve the consent of the trafficked individuals and import them to Liberia through the Roberts International Airport (RIA) for the purpose of exploitation.
Kassabli took away the passports of the victims and failed to pay them as promised, used them as sex workers and received payments in their behalf and not remitting same to them, assaulted, threatened and abused them whenever they resisted his instructions, clustered them in a single room under unbearable and unsanitary conditions, and made them to work long hours without meal and rest and other forms of inhumane treatments.
The act committed by Kassabli grossly violates the New Panel Law of Liberia section 14.70(1)(a)(i), (ii),(b) of the Statutory Laws of the Republic of Liberia. Kassabli has spent his first night at the Monrovia Central Prison beginning yesterday after he was picked up by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP).