‘Lies?’- As Counterfeit Reportedly Hits New Banknotes

Central Bank Governor Milton Weeks

“The counterfeit issue is difficult to easily control. What some of the BMs do is that they travel abroad where money printing machines are and print the money. When they are coming back they buy televisions and only use the frames to conceal the counterfeits and cross borders to enter the country… The government needs sophisticated detecting instruments at entry points across the country to hunt down those involved in such business.”

Reports are emerging that the much talked about new Liberian banknotes are falling prey to counterfeit, one of the major reasons which financial experts in the Unity Party-led government defended the printing of the current banknotes in various denominations for circulation.

Those in the know of printing the Liberian currency, when the now circulated banknotes were printed and released, were quoted as justifying that the action on the part of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) was meant to replace the mutilated banknotes of the country with hard code security feature new banknotes.

However, already, people in the business community are said to be experiencing counterfeited hundred dollar bill of the new banknotes, thus defeating the argument about the so-called hard code security feature of the currency which authorities in the regulatory banking sector have boasted of.

“The counterfeit issue is difficult to easily control. What some of the BMs do is that they travel abroad where money printing machines are and print the money. When they are coming back they buy televisions and only use the frames to conceal the counterfeits and cross borders to enter the country,” one source who begged not to be named claimed.

The source observed that people who undertake this risky venture are mostly in the private sector, but use their connections to engage into money laundering and counterfeiting, adding, “The government needs sophisticated detecting instruments at entry points across the country to hunt down those involved in such business.”

Before then, the previous Liberian banknotes which are still in circulation had suffered mutilation and the hundred dollar bill widely counterfeited and periodically, some of the unscrupulous individuals involved in counterfeiting the money were reportedly booked in the country.

However, the new banknotes entered circulation with acceptability problem; especially when they were printed in different looks with the inclusion of a five hundred bill which members of the 53rd National legislature raised qualm against, claiming that they did not authorize authorities of the CBL to print such denomination.

Unlike  the printing of the previous  banknotes  during the regime of  Charles Taylor, which replaced the two currencies  used during the civil war ( JJ and Liberty  banknotes) in a shortest specified period of time, there has not been any indication as to when  the new banknotes would  replace the old banknotes.

Since the new banknotes came into circulation late 2016 amidst public outcries and mounting criticisms, the disparity between the United States and Liberian dollars remains widened with corresponding consequences characterized by inflation.

Currently, prices of essential commodities including food stuffs, petroleum products and transportation fares are on the increase, while vendors decry payments government owes them for goods and services already delivered.

Early this year, the business community protested peacefully for days against the advancing US rate on the money market as well as the high tariff paid for goods imported into the country at the ports of entry, particularly the Freeport of Monrovia.

Consequently, there was very little impact due to the days of protest which took place when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai were out of Liberia on official duties.

It is recalled that when President Sirleaf returned, she set up a committee to dialogue with the business community to disengage the protest and by the same token, the US rate dropped slightly, but as it stands, the rate has stepped up again.

It is no illusion that the  country is faced with economic uncertainty, which the government has blamed on the fall in the prices of iron ore, rubber and other commodities on the world market, squarely  termed as ‘ recession’ that is affecting  the global economy.

 

1 reply
  1. Elijah Nel Bowyah Jr
    Elijah Nel Bowyah Jr says:

    Thanks to the Inprofiledaily family for being so accurate in giving informations to public…

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