The Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick S. Conteh has ordered the freezing of all bank accounts held by Pavifort Al Associates Limited until the company refunds the sum of Le9,700,000,000.00 (Nine Billion, seven hundred million Leones) paid in its bank account by the Bank of Sierra Leone without approval and/or authorization of the Bank Governor.
A rogue banker, Jibao M. Flee, who was the Director of Banking in the Central Bank, on June 14, 2018 took full responsibility and tendered his sincere apologies for the embarrassment his action had caused the bank.
Mr. Jibao Flee had authorized the payment of Le15.43Bn. to several contractors without the required approval of either the Bank Governor or the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Flee, in an attempt to conceal his criminal behaviour failed to indicate the transactions on the Daily Statistics of Government Treasury Position, thereby “misleading the Executives, which is tantamount to a premeditated action”.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that all those contractors who benefitted from those unauthorized payments have had their bank accounts frozen and have been ordered to refund the money paid to them from the Bank of Sierra Leone’s Ways and Means Account.
Jibao Flee, Ivan Gbondo and Mrs. H. Hastings-Spaine have been removed from the Bank with immediate effect.
See Governor’s letter to the Minister of Finance below
Bank Of Sierra Leone
P.O. Box 30
Siaka Stevens Street
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Our Ref: Gov.3/11A
18TH June, 2019
The Hon. Minister
Ministry of Finance
Re: Unauthorised Payments To Contractors
I write relative to my letter dated 11th June, 2018 on the above important matter.
The Internal Audit Department of the Bank of Sierra Leone has completed their special investigation of all payments made to contractors from the Government Ways and Means Account for the period 1st April-8th June, 2018 with the following grave anomalies.
The then Director, Banking Department Mr. Jibao Flee, made unauthorized payments totaling Le15.42 Billion to various contractors. Out of these payments Le9.7 Billion was paid to PAVIFORT AL Associates on six different dates between 12th April and 30th May, 2018,
The special investigation also revealed that ten (10) out of the fifteen (15) payments were omitted from the report “Summary of Daily Statistics of Government Treasury Position”. This no doubt is a premeditated action by the then Director. Banking Mr. Jibao Flee, to not only cover up the unauthorized payments, but most importantly, to mislead both the Governor and the Ministry of Finance in making timely and informed decisions or the meager funds available to the Government.
Importantly also, Mr. Flee was a member of the Cash Management Committee which meets weekly and in several instances, the Financial Secretary had strongly advised of the pending independent audit of all arrears and as such, no payments were to be effected especially to contractors by the Bank of Sierra Leone without the prior authorization of the Ministry of Finance.
Our further disappointment is the fact that Mr. Jibao Flee was handpicked to lead a new team in the Banking Department following very compelling allegations about illegal dealings in foreign exchange at the Bank of Sierra Leone which came to light within few weeks of my assumption in office in July, 2017. As stated in my letter of 11th June, 2018 immediate action has since been taken to remove Mr. Flee from the Banking Department.
Consequent on the above unfortunate and reprehensible event, the Bank’s Disciplinary Committee is now actively reviewing the entire matter with the view of recommending the appropriate disciplinary action for the consideration of the Board.
I will keep you fully updated and thank you for your cooperation as always.
Patrick S. Conteh (Dr.)
Cc: The Financial Secretary
The Accountant General
The Deputy Governor