The Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Patrick Conteh, has told the Global Times, in an exclusive interview in Freetown on Friday 10th November, 2017 that, he was seriously concerned about reports in the foreign media that, some Red Cross staff in Sierra Leone allegedly colluded with some local banks to skim off over US$2m (Two Million United States dollars) meant to fight the deadly Ebola Virus Disease that broke out in Sierra Leone in May 2014.
The money was part of a US$100m (One hundred million United States dollars) cash donation made to national Red Cross Societies in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone by the Red Cross Federation in Switzerland, Geneva.
Dr. Conteh disclosed that, the supervisory department of the Bank of Sierra Leone had commenced what he called, “targeted examination of the financial institutions concerned”. Meaning therefore, that, the Central Bank was examining all the issues raised to ascertain whether or not any law governing the operations of commercial banks in Sierra Leone was flouted.
The Bank Governor assured that, punitive sanctions will be imposed on any commercial bank found to be in breach of any code of conduct.
So far, two major commercial banks (Nigerian banks) have been mentioned in the monumental Red Cross scam.
In an unrelated development, the Managing Director of GTB (Guaranty Trust Bank) in Sierra Leone, Gbenga Alade has been transferred to GTB head office in the United Kingdom.
His successor is due to arrive in Sierra Leone this week, on a familiarization tour, according to senior GTB officials in Freetown. He is due to assume his new role in Sierra Leone in January 2018.