Court Grills GT Bank Over US$930k Theft -Kailondo Takes Witness Stand

By Taisiah K.Merfee

 

Liberian Businessman Cllr. George Bobby Kailondo, on Wednesday March 2,2022 took the witness stand to testify in the Criminal case involving him and the Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia Limited.

Cllr. Kailondo said when he opened his account in December of 2014 with the GTBank, he made an initial deposit of Two Million United States Dollars (US$2,000,000.00) and requested the Bank to issue him a Three Million United States Dollars (US$3,000,000.00) Letter of Credit to procure petroleum products.

He told the court that the letter was issued by the Bank and the agent of the supplier, supplied in bits and pieces five thousand metric tons of petroleum products. After that transaction, he narrated that they brought in other vessels for which his company requested the bank to issue them a letter of credit.

The Liberian Business mogul said the first payment of US$3 million was made but no vessel came to Liberia to supply the products. The value of the product was however supplied to the company in portions. In January of 2015, they had an accident where the Manager of GTBank was involved. After the unfortunate situation, Cllr. Kailondo said Kailondo Petroleum deposited money into their account.

He further told the court that after the accident they decided that they do not want to continue doing business with his company. So, they brought a list of shipping agreements for the he and his company to sign with the value of US$2.4million and he signed the document and paid the money into their account but the price of oil plummeted, thereby making them to incur huge losses.

He also added that in 2017, GT Bank wrote ACE Global demanding an amount of more than US$791,000.00 indicating that the last agreement for the letter of credit that he (Kailondo) signed with them as the balance payment that ACE Global should pay them through their Lawyer, Sherman and Sherman Law Firm. ACE Global wrote informing Kailondo Petroleum that GT Bank has requested for over US$791,000.00 from them through their lawyer.

Cllr. Kailondo explained further that he then wrote their lawyer assuming the responsibility to pay the over US$791,000.00 on behalf of ACE Global.

Kailondo said this led to the creation of a novation agreement whereby the parties signed to pay the US$791,000.00 in twenty-four (24) months. Out of the total amount, the businessman intimated that Kailondo Petroleum paid over US$380 000.00 to supply gas and fuel to the management of GT Bank against the US$791,000.00 to the best of his knowledge. He intoned that his company paid in total an amount over US$414,000.00 plus against the novation agreement in the tone of US$791,000.00 plus as a good sign of his honesty.

It can be recalled the Guaranty Trust Bank through it Mananger Ikenna Anekwa ,Deputies Operation Manager ,Executive Director ,Comptroller and others were indicted by the grand jury of Montserrado County during the November term of Court for the crimes of theft of Property, Misapplication of entrusted Property and criminal Conspiracy.

The bank’s indictment says Cllr. Kailondo for the purpose of trust and confidence in the defendant entity GT-Bank Liberia Limited, opened checking Account at the bank with account Numbers 01126050020001000 and 0113150002000000, both containing USD and LD transactions.

It detailed that GT-BANK Liberia had prior knowledge of these accounts and Cllr. Kailondo being the only signatory regarding transaction to include, deposit and withdrawals, yet it criminally opened an escrow account bearing number 01126050025020000 closed to Kailondo’s Account with sole intent to commit the crimes alleged.

Between the period of 9 September 2014 up to and including 15 December 2016, the indicate says the Bank by virtue of these positions knowingly, purposely, criminally and intentionally did take, defraud, deprived and stole monies in the amount of USD $930,500.00 from Kailondo’s checking accounts.

The indictment further reveals that GT Bank, with criminal minds and intent, conspired, connived and designed a criminal syndicate and debited Kailondo’s account at different times and made unauthorized and deceptive withdrawals of USD $930,500.00

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