March 29, 2023

FIU Liberia dismiss staff for illegally stealing and divulging secret material

The Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia (FIU) has dismissed two staff for tipping off and illegally stealing classified information for personal gains in violation of section 67.13 of the FIU Act of 2012 and section 6.7.6 of the Human Resources Handbook of the FIU, the Code of Conduct and Statement of Confidentiality.

Mr. Cooper Leamah tip-off to his boss for over 10 years, destroyed evidence and rendered the investigation meaningless. Mr. Cooper who was a senior member of the FIU and signed on to the code of conduct of the FIU did not disclose such a conflict of interest with the only aim of protecting his boss and stalling the investigation which violates blatantly the code of conduct to which he signed on. 

His action of willful blindness has not only undermined the investigation but has rendered the entire investigation meaningless, as evidence was tampered with and in some instances not seen. Additionally, the compliance officer at the concerned institution clearly stated that Cooper Leamah undermined the investigation by his inaction. When Mr. Leamah managed the STRs it was observed that he intentionally deleted two STRs filed by a local bank in favor of personal gains even after the local bank reached out to him to follow up and he responded to the bank that “you have filed and you have nothing with it”

On other hand according to an FIU released on Monday, June 27, 2022, Mr. Goba was seen illegally taking sensitive information from the FIU for personal gains and in some instances conducting investigations on individuals for personal gains when such investigation was never sanctioned by the office of the Director or the Head of Legal and Analysis. It was observed that Mr. Goba was conducting these illegal investigations and reporting to people outside of the FIU that was without the consent of the Director only for personal gains and to soil the image and character of reputable individuals in society using his employment with the FIU.

 After Mr. Goba was discovered, the Director put in control to prevent the illegal and unauthorized information by disabling the USB port on every computer within the Unit including the computer assigned to Mr. Goba. With the control put in place by the Director to protect the integrity of the information at the FIU, Mr. Goba openly and angrily insulted the Director in the presence of staff for putting in control that prevents Goba and any other staff from stealing classified information for personal gains.  

In keeping with the powers of the Director, Goba was informed that he will be transferred from the Analysis department since he was compromised by a huge potential reputational risk to the FIU. Mr. Goba immediately when on a blackmail speed after hearing about his removal where he put personal gains over ethics, professionalism, and the laws governing his employment at the FIU. In violation of section 67. 13 and the code of conduct of the FIU, Goba willfully discussed an STR worked on both internally and externally with the intention to blackmail the Director into removing him from the Unit for doing what is unlawful thus, bringing reputational risk to the institutions.

Based on this blatant violation of personal gains and reputational risk to the FIU, the FIU in keeping with section 67.13 of the Financial Intelligence Unit Act of 2012 Will send a referral to the Ministry of Justice since the violation hinges on a second-degree felony.

The FIU announced to the general public and advised not to do business in the name of the FIU with the two dismissed staff.

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