By Melvin Jackson
MONROVIA: Liberia National Police have investigated, charge and forwarded to court a 41 year old employee of the SIB Bank identified as John Gbenyahn for allegedly stealing more than 21 million Liberian dollars from the bank.
Defendant Gbenyahn, was charged with Theft of Property, Misapplication of Entrusted and criminal conspiracy which is in violation of Chapters 10 and 15, Subchapters “D” Sections 15.51, 15.56 and 10.4 of the reversed Penal Law of Liberia.
Police charge sheet revealed that the Management of SIB Liberia complained defendant Gbenyahn that the defendant allegedly conspire with the A and J Business Center, trust Management Construction Service, Charles Blama, JanSport Bar and Restaurant, Mariama M. Singbeh, and Mask investment among others to commit the crime.
The writ further revealed that defendant Gbenyahn allegedly stole more 300,000 United States dollars, quoting police charge as saying that the defendant stole more than $21Million Liberian dollars from the bank.
Assigned at the bank’s clearing office, Suspect John Gbenyahn is an employee of SIB Liberia Limited charged with the responsibilities of a Clearing Officer to represent SIB Liberia Limited at the Clearing House at the Central Bank of Liberia.
Meanwhile, defendant John Gbenyahn has been committed to the Monrovia Central Prison where he is currently spending his first night.
Accordingly, the Automated process is done by computers where
Checks are scanned and automatically goes to the designated bank for processing while the Manual process is also done by manually checking the checks by hands at the clearing house, after which time the clearing staff(s) takes the delivery of check at his/her assigned bank, goes in the Bank computer software and debit the appropriate customers’ accounts and credit the bank account.
The Clearing process is said to be completed within three working days after which time customer account is credited or if including Liberia Dollars checks totaling LRD21,997,176.45 (twenty-one Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven Thousand, One Seventy-Six Hundred and Forty-Five Cents) from the Management of the SIB Liberia Limited between January 4, 2023 -October 12, 2023 respectively.
That defendant Gbenyahn, and other officers to be identified at the SIB clearing department intentionally and criminally failed to take for clearings checks numbers; 0000074, 1546743, 00144736 and 00000075 totaling USD61,928.29 and criminally credited the Trust Management construction Service Account and said amount was withdrawn by Charles Blama, the sole signatory to the account.
The LNP charge sheet added that, the payer, A and J Business Center did not have sufficient funds into his/her account during the time of the issuance of the check, but for the purpose of stealing from the Management of SIB Liberia Limited, defendant Gbenyahn ignored his responsibilities as Clearing officer and retained the check until the beneficiary account was funded.
The defendant have two extra accounts, one of which is a joint Account with his wife at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) which has approximately over USD90,000.00 and an additional Account with the International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL) that is funded with more than USD5,000.00 between May 2022 and October 2023 respectively.
The investigators believed that money in these two Accounts; LBDI and IBLL are part of the criminal proceeds from the crime committed against the Management of SIB Liberia.
Defendant Gbenyahn criminally posted to the SIB computer system by debiting a suspense crediting settlement account which automatically cleared off the suspense to indicate that the check had been returned, even though the check was criminally lying under the keyboard of his computer not return.
Defendant Gbenyahn, A and J Business Center, Trust Management Construction Service, Charles Blama, JanSport Bar and Restaurant, Mariama M. Singbeh, Mask Investment and others to be identified conspired to steal USD305,368.17 including Liberia Dollars totaling LRD21,997,176.45 instead of the amount reported.
The Charge Sheet continued that it is true that further investigation is ongoing as to the fraud that affected the bank and that police have established a criminal culpability of defendant Gbenyahn cash totaling USD305,368.17and LRD21,997,176.45.