Massive fraud exposed at Sierra Leone embassy in China

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 August 2020:

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sources in Freetown last night confirmed to the Sierra Leone Telegraph that the ACC is investigating the disappearance of almost One Million Dollars from a Sierra Leone Embassy Bank account held in Beijing, China, and operated by Sierra Leone’s former vice president Victor Foh (Photo above) when he was head of the embassy under the Koroma-led APC government.

According to reports, a total of US$922,455.39 was withdrawn from the account and remain unaccounted for.

The ACC is believed to be questioning a former senior official at the Sierra Leone embassy in Beijing about the cash, and will also be interviewing the former Ambassador to China and vice president – Victor Bockarie Foh (Photo – left) this week.

According to reports, Sierra Leone’s current Ambassador to China – Ernest Ndomahina discovered the bank account in the name of the Sierra Leone Embassy at the Bank of China. The account was opened and operated from January 2015 to December 2019.

The application for the opening of the bank account with the Bank of China is understood to have been made by Sierra Leone’s former Ambassador to China, Victor Bockarie Foh on 8th December 2014, so that people can make donations to Sierra Leone to help deal with the Ebola epidemic, as well as to receive all other donations made to the government and people of Sierra Leone.

It is alleged that in Foh’s application to open the bank account, Ambassador Foh informed the bank that the only person authorized to sign cheques for withdrawals from the special account was the Minister Counselor at the Embassy, Mr. Unisa Sahid Kamara who is now being questioned by the ACC.

According to embassy officials in Beijing, the existence of the special account was not brought to the attention of Ambassador Ernest M. Ndomahina upon taking up office as Sierra Leone’s new ambassador to China.

The disappearance of $18 million of Ebola funds under the former APC government was the subject of an investigation by the ACC. Many of those named in the report are yet to face justice.

12 Comments

  1. Were else is there fraud. Sent parcel last week in post office 370 thousand Leones. But they only put 260 thousand worth of stamps on same item. Yesterday 580 thousand, same weight same item. I protested they said the price is the price. Then after haggle they said 520 thousand – I said no. Then more haggle – item goes to 480 thousand. I agreed but stamps did not tally to amount paid. As a customer all I want to do is pay the goverment set price. How can this be different in 1 week and also how can I haggle price down in Freetown post office. I suspect all the money I paid is not going to the government. And the country – this place needs investigating. As a citizen from Europe, how can it be?

  2. The focus should not even be on the fraud itself, or Victor Foh and others, but on Ben Kaifala and his Commission. This time the chief minister is far removed from the scene – thank goodness. No, it’s not “China gate”. Definitely not missing billions at various government departments. Oh no, it’s not helpless border immigration officials. My word, it’s not the sudden acquittal of the murderers of a journalist.

    In all the aforementioned cases the lawyer in Ben Kaifala went for a picnic somewhere where a little alcohol was served and our Ben was arrested by the throes of it. The probability is quite high that since what we are dealing with here involves members of the opposition APC Commissioner Ben will regain his legal footing inexplicably to strike a blow for the administration.

  3. Interesting that we see cases like these where a total lack of financial regulation is the main challenge. If its not custom account clerks it is high profile officials. The question is how can you have a sole signatory to an account that is linked and operated on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone? I hope we do not have such practices in any government institution as that itself puts the entity and government at great financial risk. Hope lessons are learnt as we seem to be operating like we do not have people with brains or a deliberate attempt to defraud the people of Sierra Leone.

  4. It will be naive to state that corruption can be completely eradicated in Sierra Leone. But in my personal opinion, the “AYAMPI PEOPLES PARTY”( APC) have graduated from corruption to destruction. Ebola money was “ blood money” which will continue to hunt these thieves .
    The reason why the international community withheld the Ebola compensation monies for the victims was the complete lack of respect and trust for the destructive APC government , but now that a respectable and credible government has proved that they can be trusted, the compensation for the Ebola victims has been released. Let’s hope and pray that the ACC will conduct a speedy investigation especially with the “ born again” former Vice President Victor Foh who had been cooperating with the ACC after he respectfully retired from politics.

  5. Time will tell,but for now let the ACC do their work in order to save Sierra Leone, from these corrupt officials.

  6. I though that VP Foh left China in 2015 to become the handpicked APC VP to the almighty Bai Koroma. Petico Koroma was the incumbent when there was a change in government in 2019. Ambassador Ndomahina took up his position in late 2018. So the existence of the account should have been in his handingover note. Unless it was not made known to him when he took over from VP Foh. Massive Fraud, reads the headline. One million dollars! is that the massive fraud we are talking about-Sensational journalism at its best.

    I notice that three principal culprits on this forum will always subtly deny corruption by insinuating that the corruption czar is going after only former regime members while turning a blind eye to corruption going on in the current dispensation. While I may not vouch that the current breed are not corrupt, but we cannot deny that corrupt cases brought to the ACC attention have not been investigated against the members serving in this regime.

    I would keep record of the corruption that is so massive so that when the opportunity comes they would present it and those culpable may be investigated and made to pay every cent. But for now let us give the opportunity for the known corrupt cases to be investigated.

  7. Here we go again – Our nations most indecisive delusional quacking SLPP ducks on another of their fruitless scapegoating missions,anxious to hunt down old worn out APC lame ducks totally lacking interest in Sierra Leone politics.How disconnected are these people? Stargazer they couldn’t solve the simplest problems involving rampant corruption here at home,and now their caravan of incompetence prepares to zip away to the most challenging and complicated uncharted terrain overseas – China? Makes no sense to me at all.Well,friend just wish them good luck and Godspeed because they will need lots of it as a fitting substitute and opportune replacement for their stupefying befuddling ineptitude.(lol)

  8. The low hanging fruits are always easy to pick, especially if your party is not in government. What ever it is, corruption remains the greatest challenge facing Sierra leone. It’s like Ebola, Malaria, river blindness, which I think affect every Sierra Leoneans, because I think for too long we’ve given our politicians a free pass to use our country resources, like a cash cow whilst millions of families suffer abject poverty, and COVID19 all put in one that is hitting Sierra leone at once. If this allegation against the former Vice president Victor Foh, and his associate are true and can be proven to be so, he should be punished.

    I must throw a wind of caution here. Is it possible that only the members of the APC party that are stunned cold and corrupt to the bones? Are members of the present government clean like the Pope? The credibility of the ACC can only be enhanced if they go after every one . It will help remove the scales in our eyes, so we can see things objectively, and tap ourselves on our backs, and say the ACC is really serious about fighting this cancer of corruption in our country. Its so much God can do for us as a nation. Given us everything we need to develop our country. So its up to us Sierra Leoneans to choose leaders that have our country at heart. Otherwise we will continue like this until the demographics change.

    When we no longer have two tribes that dominate the political arena due to the accident of birth rate. For instance, if our president Bio, or any of his ministers are corrupt, they should go after them, like the way Israeli anti corruption judges went after the present prime minister Benjamin Nathyenau . But I am not holding my breath on that one. Or better still we should abolish first past the post in our election process and go for proportional representation. This will give smaller parties more voice in the way our country is run. That way we will do away with that 55% mark for the presidency. May God bless Sierra Leone.

  9. “The Minister Counselor at the Embassy, Mr. Unisa Sahid Kamara who is now being questioned by the ACC.” He should be held accountable for the money. he should refund the whole money for its use by the citizens.

    Africans should be informed over and over again that stealing is a crime and punishable to the fullest extent of the law by jail time. It does not matter whether APC or SLPP, this is how you end corruption. the country belongs to the citizens not those in power.

    • Dr. Abraham Sesay, I can’t agree with you more. Corruption has destroyed our continent. Extreme Corruption seems to be associated with black Africa or any country run by the black man in the face of this planet where there is little or no care for the general population. The whites are corrupt too but at least they provide basic services for their people. We as black people have a natural hatred for our fellow black men and women. Someone might come out to say I have inferiority complex for the white man. But my own observation of the way black African or Caribbean countries are run paint a different picture. Yes there are corruption in every continent, but our African brothers have taken it to a whole different level.

      Starting from the trans Atlantic slave trade, all the way to the containers housing young African men and women suffering the most unimaginable abuses from people traffickers in Libya, and not one African leader raising his voice against the suffering of those unfortunate people. And no one wants to leave his country to set up home in another country. But because of corruption and unimaginable poverty, you will find Africans are always on the move. Because their government can’t provide them opportunities. Corruption is a crime against African citizens.

  10. Anti Corruption Cases are not complex when it comes to APC officials. It’s easy as drinking water. But with Bio SLPP kakistocracy officials, it’s more complex than rocket science. Can you imagine? We shall see. TBC.

    • The issue of corruption in our country is fundamental. The incumbent government is doing well in the fight against the cancer of corruption. Lets give thanks and appreciation to the present ACC regime.

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