ACC concludes investigation of “bribe” statement by the governor of bank of Sierra Leone

ACC Media Unit: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 May 2022:

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wishes to inform the general public that it has concluded investigation of the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Professor Kelfala Morana Kallon over remarks he made at a pre-legislation presentation to Parliament on the 22nd November, 2021, in which he said, he “bribed” people who were hoarding the Leone to bring it back into the banking system in the total sum of Sixty-eight Million US Dollars (USD$ 68,000,000).

The ACC opened a full investigations into the financial dealings of the BSL beyond the statement and forensic investigation confirmed the following:

i. That in a meeting held in December 2020, the Governors agreed that, in order to mop-up excess Leones liquidity outside the banking system, the BSL apply foreign exchange sales operations. This was after the Bank Governor had noticed that the vaults of the Commercial Banks were dangerously empty, which had resulted in a huge drop in the deposit of Leone notes by Commercial Banks into the BSL Account.

ii. That on the 14th January, 2020 BSL sent out Notices to Fourteen (14) Commercial Banks registered in Sierra Leone, expressing interest for the sale of foreign currency (US Dollars) in exchange for Leone deposits for the purpose of mobilizing the Leone into the banking system.

iii. That the foreign exchange sale also known as Cash Swap Operations was done through Nostro transfer and US Dollar cash request. With respect to Nostro transfer, BSL credited Commercial Banks Foreign Correspondence Accounts the requested amount in US Dollars, and debited the Commercial Banks’ Leones Accounts held with them the equivalent of the transferred US Dollars in Leones. However, in respect to US Dollar cash requests, the Commercial Banks collected the physical cash applied for in US Dollars over the counter and its equivalent in Leone was debited from their Leone Accounts held with BSL.

iv. That through the Cash Swap Operations, between January 2021 and December 2021, BSL sold to the Commercial Banks the total sum of Sixty-eight Million Five Hundred and Ninety-five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-eight United States Dollars and Two Cents (USD 68,595,858.2) which was equivalent to Seven Hundred and Seven Billion, Seven Hundred and Forty-five Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty-eight Leones, Seventy-three Cents (Le 707, 745, 650, 688.73).

v. That all Commercial Banks involved in the foreign exchange sales operation produced evidence of deposit slips to us at the ACC indicating the total amount of Leone notes credited to BSL Account Number 1200095 being equivalent in Leones of the US Dollars purchased from BSL.

Based on the foregoing, the Commission concludes that, even though the Bank Governor, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon, openly said he “bribe Commercial Banks” in his attempt to explain what had been done to revitalize the banking system, the said statement was a mischaracterization of what transpired and the use of the word “bribe” in that context was in error as the Professor struggled to simplify a complex banking operation.

After several days of questioning him and various staff at the BSL, with evidence obtained from all concerned including the Commercial Banks, and forensic examination of the financial and operational records of the Bank of Sierra Leone, is that he was referring to the “Cash Swap” Operations conducted by BSL as explained above. He has been therefore advised to choose his words more carefully next time so as not to create the wrong impression for the public; as we all continue to work robustly to ensure that accountability and transparency continue to guide the Public Service of Sierra Leone.

The Commission has accordingly closed this investigation.

 

4 Comments

  1. Whoever thought The Bureau for Selective Investigation (BSI), formerly Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) would not exonerate Central Bank Governor Kallon should be examined by the world’s top psychiatrist. The whole so-called investigation was a farce, the same farce that has been associated with all investigations involving SLPP operatives like former chief minister David Francis, who had a journalist locked up for wanting to question him about $1.5 million deposited into his account. Precedents should constantly tell us that no SLPP minister or member will ever be thoroughly investigated by BSI and accordingly sanctioned. But if it involves members of other political parties there will be no holds barred in making unbearable noise about it, That’s what Mayor Aki-Sawyer is facing. What is BSI doing about missing audit reports? Well,they are too divine to be examined and investigated because they will throw indelible dirt at Bio, his wife (who is effectively the Vice President) and the entire SLPP hierarchy.

  2. This is the reason why our ACC Commissioner is not only respected around the world, but our beloved country has won international acclamations since 2018. Now, even “careless talk” with regards to our single treasury account which has been boosted by the NRA can be investigated.
    Accusing and naming anyone as being corrupt is a process. It is not a game of retaliation, which can be best described as “Corruption fighting back”.
    The lifetime leader of the APC party and some of his Cohorts were found guilty by going through the process and procedures ( GTT Report, COI, the Government White Paper and the Appeals Court).
    Fortunately, most of the Ayampies has secretly paid back, whilst some have negotiated payments plan. The lifetime leader ( Ali Baba) has recently failed in his attempt by trying to extend his immunity for life through the appeals court, which has been rejected, whilst Sylvia Blyden and Diana Konomany have been exonerated from any corruption charges. Hopefully our Mayor will also be exonerated after going through the process.
    Let continue to respect and follow the process instead of taking CHEAP SHOTS, which can be best described as MENTAL DERANGEMENT.

  3. Give the devil it’s due .I certainly believe the “Kaka Devil ” we called Ben Kaifala the head of the ACC tasked constitutionally to investigate corruption in Sierra Leonean public life has over the past four years not only managed to redefine the meaning of corruption in public life but have found a whole meaning of interpreting corruption under Bio’s one directionless government .He is clearly caught between the devil and the deep blue sea .In his case the “Deep Green Sea” of the SLLP enforcers.They have to keep a tab on his work so he don’t stray out of line and embarrassed the Bio government . If we take a straw poll form the Sierra Leoneean public and asked them to rate the performance of Mr Ben Kaifala and his team of brainless chickens heads , steeped in the art of political theater ,witch hunts and vendettas , to be rated on a scale from one to ten on their performances so far, one can be hard pressed to get past four points .which is exactly the point .Four years of political theater and nothing to show for their efforts .Those corrupt politicians that see Sierra Leaonean natural resources and the Treasury as their private piggy banks have been emboldened by the share incompetence of the ACC under Ben Kaifala.I certainly can’t blamed the algorithm of the ACC computers that might just be programmed to identify APC supporters or high ranking politicians opposed to Bio ,as the only ones that are corrupt that Bio and his acolytes see as a threat to his presidency .You got to feel sorry for Mr Ben Kaifala.He is torn between his royalty to Bio and doing the right thing for his country .I think is about time someone read the riot act to him and tell him to grow some spine and stand up to Bio the bully. Every day he ditters our country is sinking to a gaint black hole of economic morass.And given the cost of living that has been grinding on for the past four years for families up and down the country , that was even before the pandemic hits our shores, now just when the world economy was starting to go in to a recovery pace, Putin the Russian tyrant have thrown a spanner in to the works by invading one of the largest grain producers in the world .The effects of which will be felt in sub Saharan Africa and around the world .That is why we need to fight corruption with out fear or favours .

  4. Hahaha! Hundreds of millions of dollars are reported to have gone missing by 3 consecutive audit reports, in addition to the tons of factual evidence being release constantly by the Africanist press, all pointing to corruption on steroids under this regime, to date no serious investigation has been done to recover the missing funds, but here we are, being entertain by Ben Kelfala, wasting tax payers monies on an utterance by the Bank governor that everyone knew was a misspoke.

    When honorable Sidis Tunis gave an interview on BBC world news, stating that parliament was corrupt, we see no such investigation by ACC to ascertain the validity of his allegation. Instead, the honorable received a barrage of intimidation from both PAOPA and parliamentary leaders, with threats of striping off his parliamentary committee assignments if he does not withdraw his statement. Not only have ACC under Ben Kelfala been transform into a ‘PAOPA enemies hit squad’, it has now become a total comical show.

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