Red Cross Ebolagate…

ACC mounts investigation on alleged $2million fraud

November 7,  2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

red cross

ACC Deputy Commissioner Shola Davies

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has announced that it has mounted an investigation into a US$2million which the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has claimed was lost to fraud and corruption during the deadly Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

The IFRC revealed last week that it had found evidence of “likely collusion” in Sierra Leone between former employees of the federation and a bank, leading to a potential loss of US$2.1 million.

At the height of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the International Federation of the Red Cross made available cash donations totaling about US$100million to the national Red Cross Societies in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

“We are dismayed and alarmed by the level of malfeasance being perpetrated by our partners, who are supposed to help us in times of need but are also involved in this alleged type of practice,” said ACC Deputy Commissioner Shollay Davies.

He expressed the commission’s disappointment at the revelations from the IFRC concerning their local chapters, especially Sierra Leone where $2million is said to be at risk.

Mr. Davis was speaking to Concord Times yesterday at his Gloucester Street office in Freetown, where he stated that the money was lost mainly as a result of exchange rate manipulation by one of the banking institutions.

After initial monitoring of the said issue, Mr. Davies said their men were currently out and about seeking relevant information on the matter and promised to take appropriate action if their investigation revealed any act of corruption.

“We have taken appropriate action to investigate, but I must say these are early days of the investigation. We have listed the various partners that are involved and as and when necessary we shall be communicating to the public on the outcome of the investigation,” he noted.

With regards the bank that is involved, the Deputy Commissioner refused to comment because according to him, they are not yet in the process of disclosing the name.

IFRC Head of Country Office, Paul Jenkins, had expressed concern and disappointment over the actions of a few corrupt individual.

“The international staff conspired with local bank workers. We take all cases of fraud extremely seriously and we will ensure that those found wanting would be brought to justice,” he said.