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Director Andrew Wonplo jailed over missing Passports

Fabine W. Kwiah/ Jos Garneo Cephas Sr.
The Director of Passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrew Wonplo
The Director of Passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrew Wonplo

MONROVIA, LIBERIA - The Director of Passport at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrew Wonplo has been jailed for alleged economic sabotage, misapplication of entrusted property, and tampering with public records, by the Monrovia City Court.

Defendant   Wonplo, in July 2019, was entrusted with 4,250 pieces of blank Liberian passports, at the Passport and Visas Bureau, under his supervision as passport Director.

Out of the total 4,250 pieces of passports under the custody of the Passport Department  being  directly supervise by defendant Wonplo,  about 4,180 pieces were recorded and  issued to applicants and accounted for, while 70 pieces were reported damage.

Of the 70 pieces reported damage; 66pieces could be traced, while four pieces could not be accounted for. About 17 pieces of birth certificates were issued to 15 persons, by the Bureau of Vitae Statistics, along with one fake birth certificate, belonging to one Kafumba Dukuly, bearing registration number 32-LM 20122403105.

Additionally, seven passports belonging to Liberians were confiscated from defendant Andrew Wonplo’s home during a search and seizure exercise sanctioned by court.

Police investigation has revealed that while the fact remains that the certificates confiscated from the home of the Director, Wonplo, this also constitutes part of documents in obtaining passports.

Investigation shows that the public documents should have remained at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and not the home of the director.

In the presence of Cllr James Kumeh, the defendant’s lawyer, the Passport Director denied the allegation of passports scandal, but admitted that the birth certificates and seven passports were confiscated from his home.

The act according to police investigation has caused the Liberian government revenue loss of over US$25,000 especially when foreign nationals are beneficiaries of Liberian entitled passports.

 


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