Taylor’s Accounts: Associates, Top LBDI
Confidential update reports about exiled former President Charles Taylor’s bank accounts in several banks in Africa, Europe and the Americas are emerging. The accounts, according to document in the possession of The FORUM, are being coordinated by associates of the exiled president including former President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Grace Minor and others (names withheld) through a network of top executives of the Liberian Bank for Development & Investment (LBDI) in Monrovia.
The LBDI’s executives who are said to be connected to this bank transaction are Francis A. Dennis, Mildre Reeves and Elfrieda S. Tamba - president, general manager and comptroller respectively. They are said to be knowledgeable of these accounts and the clandestine transfer to these banks, according to source document.
Some of these accounts are: LDBI, Monrovia, Liberia- A/C #: 360006105; ABA 121000089 Frankfurt, Germany: Electronic Transfer- DG Bank, Frankfurt, Deutsche Genossenschaft Bank Account #: 30-4801-8222, and Zurich, Switzerland, Union Bank of Switzerland with A/C #: 82-087-71E.
According to the document updates, two other accounts are reported to be existing in Burkina Faso, with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and Banque International du Burkina (BIB), and are held under Taylor’s name alias "Jean Paul."
In the wake of Taylor’s financial empire, according to our source document, LBDI is alleged to have been the bridge in transferring huge amount to other banks as UBS and Citibank, N.Y. The document stated that some times ago, several transactions were made to Citibank, N.Y. at the request of LBDI, and one day later, LBDI would then transfer the amount through UBS where LBDI has an operating account. "Afterward" according to the document, "these bank executives got their commission."
The document also revealed that to keep former President Taylor financially potent, his close associate from Monrovia (name withheld) reportedly wrote a letter dated 18 August 2003, to him detailing plans to establish five new companies, registered in the Republic of Nigeria, to serve as a "Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)" through which Taylor could restart business operations and earn income.
When contacted, LBDI General Manager, Mildred Reeves, could not confirm nor deny the allegation, but said "banking activities are straightly confidential; we don’t just give out information – this is banking ethics," adding, "unless authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction [before information can be divulged]."
When quizzed about her personal involvement in facilitating the transaction , Ms. Reeves replied: "I don’t’ give a demn for being linked, until that is also proven through a court of competent jurisdiction."
For her part, the Comptroller of the bank, Mrs. Tamba, when contacted, replied, "I will not even dignify any news of that nature- as an institution, we have dismissed it." Speaking further, Mrs. Tamba said to our reporter, "those accounts will be made available to whatever group through the courts and not journalists because some of you just sit down here and ruin people’s reputation. In fact, I am warning you, be credible in whatever you do – other than that, you have a tough fight on hand; people who know me know the kind of person I am."
When contacted on the allegations, the President of LBDI, Francis Dennis said, "I heard about it, but I don’t dignify it. It is just a rubbish. All banks, including LBDI have been communicated with and we are prepared to fully cooperate as soon as the international team is ready," adding, "the only thing is when it is done properly through courts."
Before and after his departure from Liberia, former President Taylor had always denied having any bank account be it in Liberia or out of Liberia. He also told Nigeria Television some time ago that he owns no foreign bank accounts, and "if the UN finds them, the accounts should be seized."