25.1 million USD and 2.3 billion LD unaccounted for; LRA Internal Audit wants CBL, LRA and Commercial Banks provide explanation

The Internal Audit section of LRA has done a damming audit in which millions in USD and billions in LD remain unaccounted for; the memo addressed to LRA boss Thomas Doe Nah states: “Internal Audit planned and performed the audit to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence to determine whether the amount of taxes remitted by commercial banks to GOL’s CGRA at CBL accurately and completely reflects the true and fair amount of taxes collected by the commercial banks for the period under audit.”

The eye opening report was released by LRA Chief Audit Executive, James Kerkula dated August 26, 2020 and leaked to the media following the burial of Internal Audit Agency boss who died mysteriously at his home recently.

“The Internal Audit performed this audit for purposes of ascertaining the accuracy, completeness, reliability and validity of the amount of taxes commercial banks collected and remitted to GOL’s CGRA at the CBL in accordance with memorandum of understanding,” the report to LRA boss maintained.

The Direct Transfer Payments at Commercial Banks covering the period 2017, 2018 and 2019 reveals that CBL cannot account for US$25.1 million and LD2.3 billion representing taxes collected by commercial banks and remitted to the Government of Liberia’s (GOL) Consolidated General Revenue Account (CGRA)

This memo comes at a troubling time when several auditors have mysteriously died in months with actual reasons while their murderers reportedly carried out the act unknown.

Based on the analysis and evolution of commercial banks’ statements, CBL’s swift confirmation reports and comparison with revenue data in LRA’s Tax Administration System (TAS) for the period under audit, the Auditors identified the following issues:

Revenue transactions amounting to US$ 2,043,813.75 and LD$ 327,130,712.16 on commercial banks’ statements were not captured in the 2017 Swift Confirmation reports and therefore not reflected in GoL’s CGRA

Revenue transactions amounting to US$ 8,357,651.67 and LD$ 1, 131,748,625.77 on commercial banks’ statements were not captured in the 2018 Swift Confirmation reports and therefore not reflected in GoL’s CGRA

Revenue transactions amounting to US$14,700,701.70 and LD$887, 777,506.07 on commercial banks’ statements were not captured in the 2019 Swift Confirmation reports and therefore not reflected in GoL’s CGRA

With these grave irregularities or deliberate actions, Mr.James Kerkula is recommending that explanations be provided why the right thing wasn’t done in compliance with best financial practice based on what’s on the books.

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