Lebanese arrested for US$29,000 Forgery

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The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) on Tuesday  arrested a Lebanese businessman for an alleged US$29,428.96 forgery.

Defendant Jihad Akkari, General Manager of Euro Liberia Logging Company, was arrested as a result of a writ of arrest prayed for by LRA legal team to the Paynesville Magisterial Court, charging him with counterfeiting, forgery, criminal attempt to evade tax and criminal facilitation.

Minutes after his arrest, lawyers representing the Lebanese businessman from Sheman & Sheman Law Firm quickly made an appreciation to the Court, questing for more time in the proceeding so as to adequately understand the case.

According to the defense lawyers, the charges against their client were gravel and as such they needed time in order to represent their client adequately as provided by law.

LRA legal team interposed no objection to defense lawyers' appreciation to the court, saying it was the right of the defendant as provided by law.

They informed the court that failure on the part of the defendant to secure a criminal appearance bond would mean he should be remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison.

Judge Nelson Chineh granted the defense lawyers' request and informed the defendant of his constitutional right under the law—that he was entitled to a criminal appearance bond or be remanded at the Monrovia Central Prison pending trial.

Court says document in its possession show in November 2014 and February 2015 Mr. Akkari criminally presented a fake invoice in a duty-free application.

LRA discovered the alleged forgery in the duty-free application that was executed by the defendant through their system.

While under investigation, the defendant recycled the invoice into the LRA system and cleared a D-7 yellow machine, valued at US$29,428.96 in violation of the Revenue Code of Liberia.