Liberia – How Ex-President Weah’s ‘Brother Duped’ Ukrainian Millionaire of U.S.$4m in Fake Oil Block Deal

Higher-ups are Reportedly Shielding Him from Justice after Police nabbed him

Christian Geeply Weah, a 41-year-old man purporting to be the brother of former President George Weah, has duped a Ukrainian millionaire of over US$4 million over a fake oil bloc deal in Liberia, sources within the security sector hinted to the Daily Observer over the weekend.

Weah, a Liberian national based in Canada, is accused of duping the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy out of over four million USD by using counterfeit public documents. Weah prefers to use Christopher Geeplay Weah for his operations. He has a Liberian passport and accounts with both names.

Weah, in collaboration with Carmen Lisa Woods, allegedly conspired to sell Liberian crude oil from a non-existent oil block, Block#9, the investigation revealed.

Weah, according to a top source within the anti-finance crimes sector of the country, allegedly formulated a deceptive contract for the sale and purchase of Liberian Crude Oil made and entered into by his counterpart in crime, Carmen Lisa Woods on behalf of the Government of Liberia, with Herman Halichenko (buyer) of Kyiv Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy on January 9, 2023, in Tarrant County, in the State of Texas USA.

Weah and his ally Woods, President of Wasil Holding Inc., based in the USA, a firm addressed at 650 S. Main Street #1450, Ft. Worth, Texas 76109, the source said, allegedly criminally conspired and purported to be representatives of the Government of Liberia, authorized to sell Liberia Crude Oil in Block#9, an oil block that reportedly doesn’t exist.

During an inquiry with the Liberia National Police, its Major Crime Investigation Division validated the Daily Observer’s investigative findings. An LNP document revealed that Weah dubiously counterfeited public documents, pretending to sell Crude Oil in Shore Tanks R1-R9 at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation (LPRC) in Monrovia in which they, Weah and Woods are expected to sell Seven Hundred Million Barrels of Crude Oil at USD$250.00 per barrel, valued at a total of One Hundred Seventy-Five Billion USD (USD$175,000,000.00).

The LNP document also indicates that Weah is suspected of forging public documents to sell crude oil stored in shore tanks at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Corporation in Monrovia. Notably, Weah purported to be the brother of former President George Manneh Weah and used both the seal of the Republic and that of the Executive Mansion as shields of legitimacy to carry out his operation.

“With those documents, he claimed to have had some proximity to the former president, and by that, all his deals were sure,” the source told the Observer.

However, investigations show that Weah is not related to the former president and that the oil block in question does not exist. Though both men are Kru, Weah (Chris), born June 12, 1982, hails from Greenville, Sinoe County, while the President is a native of Sasstown, Grand Kru County.

Police document noted that the exploitation license for Crude Oil Block#9 in Liberia dated August 30, 2023, was used to convince the would-be buyer, which Chris Weah alleged to have secured from the National Investment Commission and National Oil Company of Liberia was a counterfeit, for which Police arrested and Charge for several criminal offenses.

Despite the Oil Block being nonexistent, Weah allegedly criminally made an Exploration License Certificate, faking that it was the National Investment Commission that gave the certificate to his Company, WASIL Holdings Liberia LTD.

How was Chris Nabbed?

Chris Weah came to the limelight for these alleged fraudulent acts after the Liberia National Police Major Crime Investigation Division, on November 3, 2023, received intelligence on said matter with documentary evidence.

The Police id contacted the NIC who said that the block did not exist and did not know about the said deal.

Police noted that a similar deal was done with the National Oil Company of Liberia to ascertain their facts, but NOCAL also denied dealing with Weah.

Following a tipoff, Weah was arrested at Hotel Montserrado after he allegedly intended to bribe state security with US$100,000.00, providing an initial US$11,600.00, which the police used as a Fruit of Crime (FOC) to carry out the arrest.

According to a statement that Weah made to the police, he admitted to the crimes of Economic Sabotage, Money Laundering, Forgery, Criminal Conspiracy Criminal Solicitation, Impersonating Official, Counterfeiting, Obtaining Fake and deceptive writing, theft of Property, and Bribery.

The police said they then notified the Financial Intelligence Authority concerning said crime, in which they have both been working in line to unearth Weah’s alleged syndicate.

Through further investigation into the criminal Syndicate, the LNP uncovered that US$1,095,000.00 were remitted by Weah’s partner, Carman Lisa Woods, through her WASIL Holdings Inc. to him, Weah through his USD Account title: CHRISCO Holdings Liberia Ltd, A/c#

53070030004154USD5307, held at the United Bank for Africa Liberia Limited (UBA), while other conspirators to be identified also remitted to Christian Weah Criminal Proceed in the tone of Five Hundred Sixty-four Thousand, Two Hundred Ninety United States Dollars (US$564, 290.00) between February 2023 to January 8, 2024, via the account title Christian Weah, A/C# 53070500026208USD5307 held at the UBA Liberia, because of the similar agreement, falsely manipulating the government of Liberia seal.

The LNP said their investigation also established that the UBA failed to do due diligence by allowing Weah to withdraw the proceeds from Woods WASIL Holdings Inc., without observing the Financial Intelligence Act of Liberia.

Furthermore, LNP said their investigation further uncovered that the total sum received by Chris Weah from his partner, Carman Lisa Woods/WASIL Holdings Inc. is in the sum of Four Million US$4,040,853.00 via the UBA between the period of April 2021 to January 12, 2024, and July 11, 2018, to January 16, 2024, respectively, during the execution of the crime.

The act accordingly violates Chapter 10, Section 10.4, Chapter 10, Section 10.3 Chapter 12 Sub-Chapter “B” Section 12.35, Chapter 15, Section 15.51, Sub Chapter “E” Section 15.70, Chapter 12, Sub-Chapter “D” and Section 12.50 of the New Revised Penal Laws of Liberia.

Criminals fight back through the court?

With the police insisting that Weah go to jail after presenting the fruit of crime, his lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Johnson signed for him, promising to bring him back the next day. But the case took a turn when Johnson instead filed a motion in the Civil Law Court to recover the seized money, arguing that the FOC was rather an extort from his client.

Judge Ousman Feika of the Civil Law Court for Montserrado County rendered a ruling on Wednesday, January 31, ordering former Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue to return US$12,000.00 seized from Chris Geeplay Weah, a petitioner.

In his ruling, Judge Feika highlighted that the responsibility for monitoring, investigating, and reporting illegal financial transactions lies with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), rather than the Liberian National Police (LNP), though the police said it was working in consent with the FIU.

The court intervention was prompted by Weah’s petition to recover his money, which he claimed was forcefully taken from him by LNP officers Victor Gboyah and Sam Ballah during an event organized for a police charity on November 5, 2023. Weah alleged that he had informed Sudue about the incident, but was unable to retrieve his money, leading him to seek legal recourse.

Sudue and his co-defendants told the court that Weah was involved in illegal financial transactions, having allegedly transferred varying amounts to his UBA account in Liberia through a third party–and that the money in question was an FOC.

Though the LNP turned the money over to the clerk of Criminal Court C with a receipt issued to that effect, the Civil Law Court convicted Sudue, Gboyah, and Ballah of extortion.

“This is very unfortunate. We cannot be fighting crimes that are committed against the state, and state institutions are being used to fight back and get at us by tarnishing our reputation and ruining our integrity,” and officer said. “This is very unfair. We believe that our judicial system, especially our judges should be acting on behalf of the state and not the other way around.”

Top sources within the police say they have the impression that Weah, a man who is being investigated for crimes, is using the court to fight back.

However, in response to Judge Feika’s ruling, the LNP has filed a petition with the Justice In Chambers to review the decision. They argue that the Civil Law Court lacks jurisdiction in this criminal matter and that an action to recover chattel is not applicable, but a motion to suppress and return evidence is necessary.

While awaiting the outcome of the petition for certiorari against the ruling, the LNP has requested subpoenas for all bank accounts belonging to Christopher Weah from Ecobank, GT Bank, and UBA.

Additionally, an arrest order has been issued for Weah after reports of his escape from the country. The Monrovia City Court has also summoned the management of UBA to address a complaint filed by the Liberia National Police concerning the bank’s lack of due diligence in allowing Weah to withdraw such a significant amount of money without adhering to the Financial Intelligence Act.

Meanwhile, Weah is reported to have returned to the country during the early hours of Sunday, February 4, and while the police received intelligence and were waiting to have him arrested at the arrival terminal of the airport, he was reportedly whisked through the VIP lounge by some unknown men.

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