Forgery and falsification!November 26, 2020
Chinese Association exposes fake MoU
By Abu Bakarr Kargbo
Some crooked individuals in the timber sector are desperately looking for ways and means to sabotage the government-approved timber trade and export to satisfy their selfish interests. A fake memorandum of understanding was signed by some ill-motivated individuals without the knowledge of some Chinese dealing in timber trade and export. The Chinese organization has recently denied knowing of the existence of the said MoU, in which one of its officials has made it clear that he never penned his signature in such a fake document. A statement from the Chinese Association stated thus “The Executive and Management of the Chinese Timber Association wishes to inform the public that it has no knowledge or connection to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed and circulated by the Timber Association of Sierra Leone (TASL). The Chinese Timber Association, therefore, termed the MOU as fake and aimed at derailing the reputation of the association.” “We are not in alliance with no association or individual to fight Leadway,” said the Chinese Timber Association.
The fake MoU, which was signed in a secret meeting that was ‘Nicodemusly’ held on 1st October 2020 around the Lumley Beach never had the signature of key stakeholders like the Interim Chairman of the Timbers Association, representative of the Ministry of Environment, and a representative of the Ministry of Internal affairs. “We cannot fight against a well-structured timber trade in Sierra Leone. We are here for a genuine business and we are following the government’s regulation on timber trade and export,” a Member of the Chinese Team remarked.
A report gathered by this press states that the said MoU was taken to a Chinese lady working at the Beach urging her to append her signature. Her disapproval led to one of the desperados signing on behalf of the Chairman of the Chinese Timber Association.
“You can see that they forged the signature of Sam Hui, the Chinese chairman of the Chinese Timber Association on the MoU wanting to convince the lady to sign with the signature of Sam,” source say and added that the Chairman never knew about such an MoU, which was aimed at deceiving some key stakeholders that they have agreed to kick Leadway Trading Company out of the timber export scheme.
Sources say the secret meeting was witnessed by some key stakeholders in the Timbers Association without the prior knowledge of the interim Head of the Association. They include Keillah, Abass Janneh, one Pa Cole, and a Member of the Environment Committee in Parliament Hon. Yusuf Makie. The latter perhaps never knew about the purpose of the said meeting.
It is now clear that most of the Members of the Sierra Leone Timber Association have been directly benefiting from the timber trade and as such, they are now making moves to counter the government’s decision to appoint an Agent who is tasked with the primary responsibility of monitoring timber export so that the government makes gain out of it.
It is an open secret that the timber trade had been a curse under previous governments as it has been benefiting individuals rather than the people of Sierra Leone. It could be recalled that the Timber Trade under the previous regime does not only has adverse effects on the environment but it also reportedly caused an economic burden on the past government and people. It was clear that some companies and individuals embarking on the illicit timber trade do not want to pay tax to the government, which is the reason why they normally use illegal routes in the borders of Sierras Leone to transport their commodities.