Prime Minister David Cameron has written to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf promising the UK’s complete cooperation in the Sable Mining investigation. Key government officials and company executives are under the scanner in the UK and Liberia for alleged corruption.
The letter stated that it was important for the two governments to work together to rout corruption, and Cameron thanked Johnson Sirleaf for drawing his attention to the Sable Mining issue. Global Witness, a UK-based watchdog group, has alleged that Sable Mining bribed officials in Liberia.
Cameron pointed out that since 2010, the UK has introduced some of the toughest anti-corruption laws in the world, especially related to bribery. If a company fails to prevent a bribe from being paid in any part of the world, it is deemed a criminal offence under the Bribery Act of 2010.
Global Witness has alleged that the London-based mining company bribed several Liberian officials to amend Liberian laws so that the company gets concession contracts to mine the Wologizi Mountain. Some of the Liberian officials who were named include House Speaker Alex Taylor and Unity Party Chairman and Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman.
After the Global Witness report came out, it was revealed that bribes of more than US$950,000 were paid. The Liberian Government has already indicted the speaker and senator along with Ernest C. B. Jones and Chris Onanuga, a Nigerian citizen. Several other officials are facing inquiry under a special taskforce formed by Johnson Sirleaf and headed by Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa.
Liberian authorities stated that Cameron has acknowledged the prompt action taken by Johnson Sirleaf after the publishing of the Global Witness report and has assured her complete cooperation in the investigation. Cameron has asked the UK Ambassador to Liberia to hold discussions with the relevant authorities in Liberia and get more details and information so that it can be handed over to UK law enforcement authorities.