October 4, 2018: The Technical Committee of the Presidential Investigation Team held its first press conference today at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT).
In his introductory statement, Hon. Charles J. L. Gibson, III, Oversight Commissioner for the Investigation & Enforcement Division at the LACC and head of the Technical Committee of the PIT, indicated that the Technical Committee officially started work on the 1st of October.
He urged Liberians to be patient as the Committee is carefully proceeding with the investigation.
He then turned over to Hon. Alex Cuffy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Financial Intelligence UNIT (FIU) and Coordinator of the PIT/TC who gave a chronology of events from August to September 2018, which included the receiving of reports from a “Whistle Blower” concerning suspicious activities on the importation of currency banknotes to the constitution of the PIT.
He explained that all but two of the organizations invited to participate on the PIT, the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) and the National Muslim Council declined participation. The LCC asked to be withdrawn because it wishes to remain neutral, while the National Muslim Council did not honor the invitation to be part of the committee.
The Coordinator of the PIT Technical Committee noted among other things that the TOR of the Committee included but not limited to the review of authorization to print and order currency banknotes; full accountability for Liberian Dollar banknotes; foreign currency banknotes, legacy and mutilated banknotes, foreign currency auction/exchange; and infusion of the $25 million in the economy as well as interview persons of interest.
Hon. Cuffy assured the public that the Committee has the capacity, integrity and tenacity to conduct and conclude the investigation and called on the government for the needed funds to support the investigation, and considers this a “PATRIOT CALL TO DUTY”
He called on the public and members of the press to report any information that will assist the ongoing investigation and guaranteed their privacy and full protection under the law.
Meanwhile, the PIT advised all members of the Legislature and Executive branches of government to refrain from issuing press releases, making press statements and utterances in the public especially without consulting the PIT; as it has the propensity to prejudize the ongoing investigation.
Hon. Cuffy says that the PIT estimates a final report earliest in six weeks.
During the question and answer period, the PIT noted that even with the press statement coming from the CBL indicating that no money is missing; the committee will continue its investigation, and asserted that the CBL could have come out with the information a long time ago.
On the inclusion of the FBI, IMF and other international partners on the PIT, the Committee reiterated that the Presidential Investigation Team has the capacity to conduct the probe and expects to work with its international partners whenever they come to Liberia.