LEOCEM pays one billion Leones to Anti-Corruption Commission for electricity theft

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 December 2020:

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) today announced that it has received ONE BILLION LEONES (LE 1,000,000,000.00) from the Sierra Leone Cement Corporation (LEOCEM), “as settlement for issues relating to unmetered electricity abstraction from the National Grid of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA).”

This payment the ACC says, follows an undertaking made by the Managing Director of LEOCEM – Francesco Lanza last week, to pay the One Billion Leones following negotiations and settlement with the Ministry of Energy, the EDSA and the ACC.

“It could be recalled that, as a result of the MOU signed between the ACC and the Ministry of Energy to support the Ministry to control corruption in the electricity generation and supply sector, on 20th March, 2020, a Team comprising the ACC’s Scorpion Squad, the Ministry of Energy, raided and discovered unmetered electricity abstraction lines at the LEOCEM Cement Factory in Cline Town in the East of Freetown.

“This led to the invitation to the ACC of some LEOCEM staff, including its Managing Director Francesco Lanza to assist with the investigation.

“As a result, the Managing Director of LEOCEM made an undertaking to pay ONE BILLION LEONES which sum has been paid to the ACC for onward payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Government of Sierra Leone.

“The Commission wishes to further reassure the general public of its continued commitment in ensuring that public funds and resources are protected; and where necessary, recovered,” the ACC statement published today, reads.

2 Comments

  1. Why should the ACC negotiate with politicians, that looted from state coffers to swell their bank balances, or negotiate with private companies like LEOCEM, they suspect of corruption? Answer because the ACC is facing a backlash from the very people that they suspect of being corrupt .until we start locking away people, this trend will continue. They will pay the fine and go back to do the same old . They will pass the fines as extra charges to the unsuspecting consumers. A double jeopardy for the Sierra Leonean public. The trouble with the ACC under Bio, it has been used like a blunt instrument to attack his political opponents.

    The ACC should be whiter than white. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Bio’s Sierra Leone. Tackling engrained corruption is not for the faint hearted. Because there is special interest that wants to influence the outcome. Which by its very nature is corruption itself. So where do we go from here? Answer – the ACC has to be independent, no ifs, or buts, period. Tax avoidance, and other forms of loop holes in the law used to evade taxes and non-compliance of the law against graft, is a serious issue in our country. I think, once the ACC established the evidence whether it is private individuals or businesses they should go for the whole hug and take these criminals to court, so they can account for their actions or the lack of it.

    A fine or a custodial sentence or both will go a long way to send a clear message to our corrupt political classes, that is they will not only forfeit their stolen loot, but they will be denied the freedom to enjoy the loot that is stored away in foreign banks. The ACC under Ben Khalifa is reported to have recovered billions of Leones, but where is all that money? These monies are by and large supposed to go back as worthy of investment in community projects. But so far we hardly see the difference for the efforts they are making. Or do we have to wait for Bio to sign off the projects? May God bless Sierra Leone.

  2. Now This: “The Commission wishes to further reassure the general Public of its continued commitment in ensuring that public funds and resources are protected; and where necessary recovered.”(lol) What a bunch of baloney! Firstly, the whole process is shoddy, ill-defined and completely lacking in credibility and transparency. You wanna blow loud trumpets? Then why not get media observers to be present in all these negotiations or another legitimate independent body to oversee the entire process if you are really sincere?

    Hahaha, come on man; Only what the shady ACC tells us is what we are allowed to hear and know, we never get to listen to the other side, those bullied, coerced, threatened and falsely accused of corruption and wrong doing; And who hasn’t heard a whisper here and there about the most savage and cruel tactics they have been using to get innocent, dispirited, and timid people to grudgingly comply and agree to a bogus, misleading settlement? Folks, these good for nothings are the worst you can find anywhere on our beautiful earth, they are literally heartless brazen robbers unclothing Earnest the gentleman to clothe Maada Bio the criminal.(lol)

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