Liberia: U.S. Treasury Department to Offer Rewards for Information On Stollen Assets

Monrovia — Three former senior government officials who are facing sanctions from the United States Government could face prosecution as the US Congress has established the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program to further the U.S. government’s commitment to combating foreign government corruption.

A statement from the US Department of Treasury said the program will also serve the United States’ efforts to identify and recover stolen assets, forfeit proceeds of corruption, and, where appropriate and feasible, return those stolen assets or proceeds to the country harmed by the acts of corruption.

The former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, the National Port Authority Managing Director Bill Twehway, and the Attorney General Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus were together sanctioned by the US Government on August 15, 2022.

They were suspended by President George Weah and after weeks, the three men turned in their resignations on the same day, September 12, 2022.

Despite resigning, there are many calls for the declaration of assets and recovery of unexplained wealth from the three men.

The establishment of the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program to further the U.S. government’s commitment to combating foreign government corruption for many comes at the right time.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence is managing the Program in close coordination with the Departments of Justice and State and U.S. federal law enforcement agencies.

The Program serves as a force multiplier for existing rewards programs targeted at a variety of illicit finance threats.

Reward for Tip-off

The Secretary of the Treasury has statutory authority to offer rewards up to a maximum of $5,000,000 for information leading to the restraint or seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of stolen assets in an account at a U.S. financial institution including a U.S. branch of a foreign financial institution, that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of any U.S. person.

In addition to accepting all relevant information, the program will advertise instances in which law enforcement seeks information leading to the restraint, seizure, forfeiture, or repatriation of stolen assets linked to foreign government corruption.

“Those with information regarding assets tied to foreign government corruption may submit it through the Contact Us options listed below, even if it is not linked to a specifically identified matter,” the report said.

It added: “The Interagency Review Committee will consider reward eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The Interagency Review Committee may consider a reward nomination in response to information an individual provides directly to Treasury through the tip line or email address identified below, or to an investigating agency, or a U.S. embassy abroad.”

According to the States Department of America, in the case where the Interagency Review Committee determines that an individual is eligible for a reward, they will recommend that the Secretary of the Treasury approved a reward for an amount determined by the Interagency Review Committee.

“By statute, the maximum amount of any reward is $5 million unless the Secretary of the Treasury determines the case merits a reward greater than $5 million, personally authorizes a greater amount and notifies Congress of the determination,” the cited.

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