High Court Freezes Wealth Builders
The High Court of the Republic of Sierra Leone has ordered all the Banks in the country that are presently doing business with the Wealth Builders Network in the country to FREEZE AND FORBID all account and assets belonging to the organization.
The Central Bank of Sierra Leone has ordered through the High Court to stop doing business with the organization because â€œthe Central Bank is not satisfied with the operation of the Wealth Builders Micro Finance in the countryâ€™â€™.
On 25th June of this year, a group of police personnel from the Criminal Investigations Department in Freetown through their regional offices conducted a national one minute raid on all operational areas of Wealth Builders Micro Finance in the country with instructions to confiscate documents, money, arrest managers and other relevant documents belonging to the organization.
It could be recalled that very recently, stakeholders in the North of the country raised concerns over the operation of this group especially when it was noticed that the organization collects money from people on the pretext that it pays back double. Concerned citizens were shaken by this development and made reports to the police and other relevant authorities that have now culminated into this latest development.
When contacted, the head of the CID in the North, Alie Curtis Koroma said the raid was a nation-wide issue as ordered from the relevant authorities. He revealed that Wealth Builders were operating in the country with no collateral, no financial certificates and no proper documentation which he said makes the organization illegal.
Costumer of the group Abdullah Kamara, who alleged to have given Le 5 million to Wealth Builders Micro Finance and was promised a total of Le 10 million within fifteen weeks expressed concerns that, most of them are worried about the fate of their money, noting that when they gave their money, no proper document was given to them to guarantee repayment by the organization.
The costumer Abdullah Kamara said, as at now, their only hope is for government to intervene and come to their aid as a lot of people have put their money into the organization and that if the government doesnâ€™t help to retrieve their monies, a lot of businesses will perish.
Documents from the High Court further states that, all Banks must ensure that all documents belonging to the Wealth Builders in the name of Peter Ayinla Johnson or Peter Ayunla Johnson, must be frozen in consonance with section 21 sub sections 3 of the Anti Money Laundry Act No. 6 of 2005.
A Civil Society activist in Makeni John Kargbo, expressed disappointment at the government incompetence in tracking down these fraudsters like Wealth Builders even before they start reaping meager capital of the already deprived business people in the country. This, he further associated with the greedy tendencies of who allow such an organizations to benefit because they also benefit from it. Mr. Kargbo further advised government to ensure it checks the background of all the micro finance institutions in the country, including the new Banks.
By Alusine Kabba
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