The Assets Investigation, Restitution, and Recovery Team (AIRReT) says since its formation it has been “conducting series of reviews and investigations into cases/reports emanating from the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, General Auditing Commission, Special Presidential Committees, and those from other financial institutions like the LRA and the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning. One of the many reports/cases being investigated is the one from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning regarding recycled checks, parallel and double payments made to vendors under the Government Domestic Debt Policy”.
According to AIRReT “Many of the individuals and institutions were communicated with to provide AIRReT with information as to whether or not they are aware of these transactions with the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. Several of those individuals have come forward and have written communications either denying or confirming some of these transactions with the Ministry of Finance. One of such individuals, whose name was captured by AIRReT as receiving payment for goods and services allegedly provided or rendered the Liberian government, is the current Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Jr.”
The release said “considering the nature of AIRReT’s investigation and the need to demonstrate its professional independence and credibility, and relying on its motto that “there would be no mountain too high to climb, no valley too low to walk and no ocean too deep to swim,”
“AIRReT wrote the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, specifically to either confirm or deny the alleged payment made to him as indicated in the documents reviewed and analyzed. AIRReT wishes to clarify that the intent of the letter written to the Minister Dean was not accusatory, and did not in any form, manner or shape suggest any misdeed. Minister Dean is a fine gentleman, a brilliant and articulate legal professional with an enviable career spanning over many decades—he has never been, and is not under any investigation. AIRReT regrets the misinterpretation of its earnest effort which is graciously applauded by Cllr. Dean himself and wishes to further clarify that the letter only requested confirmation of payment allegedly received since some of the payees listed have already denied receiving such payments.
“AIRReT is deeply gratified that Cllr. Dean irrespective of his status and professional standing as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of this Republic, has unconditionally cooperated and confirmed receiving the Liberian Dollars equivalent of United States Dollars Four Thousand (US$4, 000) which is Liberian Dollars Three Hundred Fifty Thousand (LRD350, 000) for a vehicle he sold to the Government of Liberia during the Transitional Government of the late Charles Gudye Bryant; which confirmation has satisfied AIRReT’s curiosity”.
Accordingly, Minister Dean has welcomed and applauded the “collective pursuit of justice” posture adopted by AIRReT in the discharge of its responsibility and the level of independence its conduct has demonstrated, which is an assurance to the Liberian people that “no one is above the law” of this Republic.
It must further be noted, the release said that Cllr. Dean has indicated that AIRReT has his full support in its recovery process, and has accordingly advised that anyone found within AIRReT’s dragnet, must submit, and where the Team finds it difficult to execute its mandate it will benefit from his full and unbridled cooperation to effectuate its mandate.
“AIRReT hereby reiterates its motto that there will be no maintain too high to climb; no valley too low to walk; no ocean too deep to swim, to get or retrieve the monies of the people of Liberia wherever found”, the release signed by Cllr. Lafayette B. Gould, Sr., Special Assistant to the Solicitor General & Official Spokesman/AIRReT/MOJ, concluded.