Journalist To Appear Before House Plenary In Missing Billions Probe

The Managing Editor of the Hot Pepper Newspaper, Philipbert Browne, is expected to appear before the plenary of the House of Representatives on Monday November 19, owing to comments he made on a local radio station in connection to the probe into the L$16 billion currency issue.

Plenary took the decision following a communication from Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel G. Kogar addressed to that body on Thursday.

In his communication, Representative Kogar told plenary that Mr. Browne indicated that he has evidence in his possession that links over 15 members of the 53rd Legislature to allegedly receiving bribes to give authorization to the Central Bank of Liberia to print an additional L$10 billion.

In the communication, Representative Kogar told his colleagues that the Hot Pepper Newspaper’s Managing Editor accused the lawmakers of receiving the undisclosed amount at two separate locations — the T-Five Academy in Paynesville and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) car park.

Representative Kogar said the revelation by Mr. Browne is important and critical in aiding the House in its ongoing investigation into the L$16 billion currency issue and, as such, Browne needs to appear before the plenary to provide the evidence to allow that body to act accordingly in keeping with the law.

“He has cast a blanket accusation over the entire lower House and, as such, he must come and name those he knows who are part of this whole money business to stop delaying the investigation. I believe he is holding the investigation hostage,” Rep Kogar observed.

It can be recalled that in September of this year, journalist Browne published in his paper the alleged disappearance of a container containing about L$9 billion dollars from the Freeport of Monrovia.

Since then the publication has sparked a national debate, and subsequent investigations by a number of parties.

The amount concerned has also risen to US$16 billion, with varying accounts of the exact amount of money in question.

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