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Sudue, 2 Deputies To Return Chrisco Holdings Monies

By Precious D. Freeman
The Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court in Montserrado County on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, adjudged former Police Inspector General, Patrick Sudue, and Victor Gboyah and Sam Ballah guilty for the illegal seizure of US$12,000 from a Liberian businessman, Christian Weah – owner of Chrisco Holdings.

The court mandated that the money in the possession of defendant Patrick Sudue and the two senior-ranking officers of the Liberia National Police be returned to Weah through the office of the sheriff.

Sudue and his co-defendants accused Weah as suspected of being involved in illegal financial transactions when transfers of varying amounts were being made to his UBA account in Liberia by another person.

The record before the court revealed that the plaintiff filed an ‘Action to Recover chattel’ on December 12, 2023 against the defendants, basically alleging that he is the owner of Chrisco Holdings, a corporate entity that exports Liberian foods on the world market, including palm oil, cassava leaf, dry meat, and fish.

Weah alleged further that on November 5, 2023, at about 3:00PM, while he had come from a football meeting, co-defendants Victor Gboyah and Sam Ballah went to him and said that the LNP had a charity event ongoing at the Liberia National Police headquarters and so they wanted him to go and make financial contributions to the charity.

He stated that based on the request, he followed the co-defendants on Ashmun Street, unknown to him that the building the co-defendants carried him in was the office of the Major Crimes Division of the police, the offices of the co-defendants.

According to him, while in the defendants’ office, they forcefully and illegally, without due process, took from his pocket US$12,000, and have since refused to return same to him.

Weah noted that based on the illegal act of the defendants, he informed defendant Sudue, that co-defendants Gboyah and Ballah wrongfully arrested him and subjected him to an investigation without his lawyers, an act that contravenes the due process of law, and asked that he, Patrick, instruct his officers to return his money, but Sudue refused.

The complainant expressed that the refusal of defendant Sudue to take action against his boys made him to believe that he supported the unlawful conduct of his subordinates.

The defendants, in response to plaintiff’s complaint, filed their answer on December 26, 2023, more than ten days after the required time stipulated by statute for responsive pleading.

The defendants alleged that the complaint which is a special proceeding to recover chattel is not applicable to criminal proceedings, and as such, the complaint should be denied and dismissed.
The defendants said they as agents of the Liberia National Police, particularly Major Crimes Division, are authorized to investigate crimes and keep agency used to commit crimes, up to and including perpetrator of criminal writ of indictment.

Defendants alleged further that when Weah was arrested on November 3, 2023, and taken to their office, the plaintiff attempted bribing them with US$100,000, but brought forth an initial amount of US$11,600, which they seized as fruit of the crime and ordered him arrested.

The assigned Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Civil Law Court in Montserrado County, Ousman F. Feika, making the judgment, said, by law, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is the government entity charged with the responsibility to monitor, investigate, and report illegal financial transactions, especially in-flow and out-flow of financial transactions through the banking system.

Judge Feika stated that according to the defendants, Weah was suspected of being involved in illegal financial transactions when transfers of varying amounts were being made to his UBA account in Liberia by another person.

The Judge intoned that with the role assigned to the FIU by the law establishing it, all suspicious financial transactions are supposed to be monitored, flagged, investigated, and reported by the FIU.

He asserted that there is no indication in the records of the court that the plaintiff is a subject of an FIU investigation because of illegal financial transaction related to his bank account lodged with a local bank in Liberia, neither is there any complaint shown in the records that the plaintiff is engaged in illegal financial transactions.

“This court is therefore astounded by the allegation of the defendants that plaintiff is a subject of suspicious financial transactions related to transfer of funds allegedly made to plaintiff’s bank account held in Liberia, when there is no indication that plaintiff is a subject of FIU investigation,” Judge Feika lamented.

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