Liberian President George Weah Tuesday suspended three senior government officials sanctioned by the US for alleged corruption and ordered for their investigation.
A statement released by the president said he views the allegations against the officials contained in the US report as grave.
The suspended officials include Nathaniel McGill, the minister of state for Presidential Affairs and chief of staff to the president, Seyma Serenius Cyphus, the solicitor general, and Bill Twehway, the managing director of the National Port Authority (NPA).
The US Treasury department imposed sanctions on the Liberian officials on Monday for their alleged involvement in ongoing public corruption in Liberia.
“Through their corruption these officials have undermined democracy in Liberia for their own personal benefit,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
The Treasury said, during his tenure in government, McGill received bribes from potential investors, and accepted kickbacks for steering contracts to companies in which he had an interest.
He also allegedly manipulated public procurement processes in order to award multi-million-dollar contracts to companies in which he has ownership, including by abusing emergency procurement processes to rig contract bids among other offences.
Cyphus is accused of developing close relationships with suspects of criminal investigations and has received bribes from individuals in exchange for having their cases dropped.
“Cyphus has worked behind the scenes to establish arrangements with subjects of money laundering investigations to cease investigations in order to personally benefit financially,’’ the report claimed.
Twehway is reported to have orchestrated the diversion of $1.5 million in vessel storage fee funds from the NPA into a private account.
He is also accused of unilaterally awarding a contract to his own company for loading and unloading cargo at the Port of Buchanan, among other crimes.