US$100,000 Squirreled in 7 days!
Awareness Times is currently in possession of a copy of an SLPP Government Cabinet Paper prepared for discussion in September 1996. It was prepared by the then Attorney-General’s Office about the misappropriation of proceeds from the sale of the country’s passports as uncovered by the SLPP Government when they took over from the NPRC’s Julius Maada Bio. A section of the SLPP Cabinet paper reads as follows:
“The proceeds of the sale of the passports were to be deposited in an Investment Account in Hong Kong to be operated by the Government of Sierra Leone for investment purposes… To effect the programme, an agent was appointed by NPRC whose business was to sell the passports…”
Furtheron, the SLPP Cabinet Paper then states:
“At that time, the agent was Mr. Frank Yiu, a national of Hong Kong, who has already worked out a number of investment programmes in Sierra Leone. He had planned to establish in Sierra Leone enamel and battery factories and a high quality television station”.
Unfortunately, according to the SLPP Cabinet Paper,
“All these prospective investments did not materialize because the authorities did not give the programme a chance. They made incessant demands on the agents to pay them cash or transfer monies into their respective foreign accounts”.
As can be seen on this page in just one week in December 1994 alone, Julius Maada Bio received three payments squirreled into his offshore bank accounts in the UK’s Channel Islands. Therefore SLPP Government’s Cabinet paper was quite correct to speak of incessant demands. Indeed, this aspect of the ongoing Squirrelgate saga has been dubbed as the seven days wonder.
$20,000 + $30,000 + $50,000 = $100,000 squirreled into Bio’s Bank Account in just 7 days. This was from mere passport sales.
Julius Maada Bio under NPRC, in just one week, could actually squirrel US$100,000 from sales of Sierra Leone’s passports. Now in 2012, Sierra Leone is rolling in rich Iron Ore and has struck possible oil. If he could squirrel the little proceeds from our passport sales, what will NPRC's Maada Bio do if he gains presidential access to our Oil and Iron Ore?
Food for thought as we still eagerly await Bio’s explanation to us as to why we should trust him with our country’s brand new, rich Iron Ore and Oil industry? We are listening keenly for whatever Julius Maada Bio has to tell us