Documentary evidence has exposed the link between Mr. William Bangura and some of the timber exporters in the Country that are engaged in the illegal enterprise to torpedo and thwart the effort in maintaining sanity in the industry. Mr. William Bangura had authored and endorsed several documents requesting financial assistance from some timbers exporters for the purpose of tree planting exercise in June of this year.
Over Two Hundred Million Leones was reportedly collected and distributed to some of the officials at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, including the author and initiator of the document. It would be recalled that the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Sam Sesay denied any involvement in the fraudulent deal. He revealed to this medium that he has no idea until when he read the article in the Standard times Newspaper. That notwithstanding, the officials involved did not suffer any consequences for their corrupt actions.
Barely months, after the collection and disbursement of the over Two Hundred Million Leones, another plot was hatched, which reportedly attracted huge quantum of dollars for the beneficiaries. Again, Mr. William Bangura’s name became prominent in the syndicate as the brain behind the issuance of an executive clearance to three Companies to export already harvested timber logs for three months.
The three Companies are CFS Construction and General Supply Limited 7, Adelaide Street with Mr. Patrick Koroma as Head of Company to ship five thousand, 20feet containers beginning December 2015 to February 2016, Banico Holdings 91A Bai Bureh Road Freetown, with Mr. Patrick Banie as Head of the Company to ship the same number and containers of timber products effective December 2015 to February 2016 and CCFG Consultancy (SL) Ltd of 3, Wilberforce Street with Ms. Fatmeh Barrie as Head of the Company to ship the same number of containers and quantities for the same period of three months.
Again for the entire dubious transaction, the name of William Bangura became prominent, but sadly continues to enjoy the protection of either the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry or some officials at State House who are believed to be part of enterprise.
Last week was the most shocking development that reportedly occurred during the timber ban imposed by President Ernest Bai Koroma. This was when a group of timber exporters based on the document submitted to them by the Acting Director of Forestry as proof and evidence of the permission earlier allegedly sought and granted from State House through the Office of the Chief of Staff undertook the stuffing of timber products in a number of containers at various concealed locations at the Waterloo District during the odd hours of the night without any supervision from the National Revenue Authority(NRA), Office of National Security (ONS) the Sierra Leone Police or Customs, a development that is very unusual in the timber industry
Up to press time, standard times investigative team was able to collate a total of eleven containers that the group stuffed with timber products and allegedly other prohibited items such as cocaine, palm kernel and others, under the guise of timber. The container numbers are MSKU 348125-0, MSKU 904040-9, MSKU 718165-0, MSKU 220574-6, MSKU 570824-0, MSKU 781007-7, MSKU 332142-1, MSKU511684-8, PONU 010450-1,CRXU 126766-4, MSKU 570824. The containers and the fake clearance certificates presented by the shippers at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Quay are currently under investigation by the Police. Sources say State House did not authorize or issue any clearance certificates to anyone since the ban on timber exportation is still in force. (See documentary evidence)