Weah Orders US$25million ‘Mop-Up Exercise’ Audited

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    President George Weah Thursday commissioned the General Auditing Commission to audit the ‘US$25 million mop-up exercise’ and submit findings in two weak.

    The United States government’s sponsored independent review of Liberia’s currency printing, money inflow and transactions show the Central Bank of Liberia planned, set the rules and executed the US$25million ‘mop-up’ exercise, which President Weah has intended to address the escalating depreciation of the Liberia dollars against the United States dollars.

    On July 17, 2018 the Finance Department, under the direction of the CBL Financial Stability Committee (formerly the ‘Money Management & Policy Review Team’) provided the CBL Banking Department with a memorandum authorized by Charles Sirleaf to commence the purchase of LRD banknotes, the report said.

    “The memorandum authorized the purchase of LRD banknotes using the proceeds from a USD 25 million reserve fund “…throughout the week beginning today July 17, 2018, to Major importers, Small Liberian Business and FX Bureau through the foreign exchange auction No.509”.

    The CBL Banking Department informed Kroll that USD banknotes were sold at predetermined exchange rates during the USD Mop-Up Exercise:

    n    USD 1 = LRD 155 for the period July 17, 2018 to August 6, 2018.

    n    USD 1 = LRD 152 for the period August 7, 2018 to October 26, 2018.

    The FSC comprises the Executive Governor, the two Deputy Governors, and all Directors.

    The CBL Banking Department told Kroll that the USD Mop-Up Exercise involved CBL representatives in six small teams undertaking the physical purchase of legacy banknotes from local businesses and foreign exchange bureaus from August 2018, with the seller being reimbursed for the value of legacy banknotes purchased with new USD banknotes. Kroll was advised that all banknotes, whether legacy or new banknotes, were accepted during the USD Mop-Up Exercise.

    Both Kroll and the Presidential Investigative Team said there were discrepancies and inaccuracy associated with what the CBL said was given to money exchangers and what the money changers confirmed received.

    In July 2018, the government approved the infusion of U.S. $25 million into the Liberian economy to keep the foreign exchange market stable.