Emmanuel Shaw, II and Benoni Urey, confidants of Taylor who served as senior government officials in his regime, and Taylor are part owners of Lone Star Communications, a cell phone company in Liberia. According to the report, Lone Star Communications is expected to earn 12 million dollars in 2005, and Taylor is expected to receive 4 million dollars. Previously, the company generated 36 million dollars yearly, Taylor received 12 million dollars annually, the report said.
The CIJ report says that Benoni Urey was part of a plan to cash in stock of a satellite telephone company in which the Bureau of Maritime Affairs own shares earlier this year. The report also says that Taylor, through Urey authorized his former wife to sell about 2 million dollars worth of Inmarsat stock in London. However, the British government blocked the deal, the report said.
Emmanuel Shaw, II serves as “financial advisor” to Charles Taylor and his principle overseas investor. He primarily serves as the manager of the deposed dictator’s investment portfolios, the report said. A communication believed to have been written by Emmanuel Shaw to a real estate agent in France instructed the agent to sell Taylor’s property in the South of France. The communication “offers an agent a five percent bonus if the property is sold for more than 15 million dollars.”
According to the report, Grace Minor, a former Taylor’s government official and a close associate of Taylor, recruits messengers to transport Taylor’s money to Nigeria. She also coordinates their movements within the West African corridor. She receives financial support from Taylor as compensation for her services.
Edwin Snowe, the Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC) and a Taylor’s loyalist, oversees Taylor’s investment in the oil industry in Liberia, according to the report. A company calls West Oil which has monopoly on oil importation, and has link to Taylor has paid Taylor $10,000 a week from the time he (Taylor) took office to current period. This means that Taylor has received about $4,400,000 dollars from West Oil since 1997.
Liberians in America and around the world are subsidizing Charles Taylor in Nigeria and helping him to maintain his grips on Liberia without knowing it. Liberians send money to their families in Liberia, and some of their family members subscribe to Lone Star Communications cell phone services, the company which the deposed dictator owns one-third share. It is an outrage that Liberians are calling for Taylor’s trial for war crimes while at the same time helping to bankroll him. The most logical solution to the Taylor’s dilemma is for Liberians to exert all efforts to have Taylor drag to the war crimes court in Sierra Leone for trial. If this is not done, Taylor and his associates will continue to be a problem for Liberia.