INSIGHT - "PATHOLOGICAL LIAR, A WANTED CRIMINAL ...Dr. Shannon describes Corruption 101 man
The whole gang of MLME officials led by former Minister Dr. Eugene Shannon as spokesman, all of which past MLME executives were seriously indicted with documented proof in the Corruption 101 book, came back hitting hard and swinging heavy in the press in their attempt to justify their grossly illegal activities by further denigrating Len Lindstrom and deeming him a pathological liar and a wanted criminal and fugitive – but their Press Release is filled with so many untruths and distorted elements that it is almost ludicrous – and Lindstrom can hardly wait to respond and let them know that if they want to call anyone a pathological liar they should be looking in the mirror when doing so - but the best thing to do is to put the Corruption 101 book in the hands of as many Liberians as possible and then once they can see for thmselves the hard cold facts and documented proof of what went on at MLME let the people decide for themselves - especially being as the Court has already determined that the actions of MLME were illegal - indicating that all these accusations in the press are little more than futile attempts on the behalf of MLME executives to justify their grossly illegal actions.
The following report is from the local INSIGHT newspaper:
“PATHOLOGICAL LIAR, A WANTED CRIMINAL”
…Dr. Shannon describes Corruption 101 man
Monday, February 24 2014
By: Lenmart Dodoo
Former Lands and Mines Minister, Dr. Eugene Shannon, recently accused by Canadian investor, Leonard Lindstrom, of extorting money from him while doing business in Liberia, has for the first time burst out on the accusation, calling the Canadian national a “pathological liar and a wanted criminal.”
Dr. Shannon revealed Lindstrom is currently wanted by the Canadian Law Enforcement Agency for fraud.
In 2004, Dr. Shannon explained, Lindstrom arrived in Liberia under the guise of a “Man of God” preaching the Gospel. He was escorted to the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy by a Liberian Reverend, James Arku, seeking investment opportunities in the mineral sector.
At the time, according to Dr. Shannon, there was little information about him on the internet or in the Canadian Press. As a disguised man of God and considering Liberia’s desperation for investors in the mineral sector at the time, coupled with capacity issues at the same time, very little could have been done to know the true Lindstrom.
Mr. Lindstrom, in his recently published book titled “Corruption 101 – The Liberian Style” accused former officials of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME) of extorting money from him while he was doing business in Liberia from 2004 to 2009.
Lindstrom blamed the former MLME officials for the breakdown in hs business citing his failure to continue abiding by their demands.
Corruption 101 further alleged corruption in every sector of government and also pointed accusing fingers of corruption to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
However, in a well-attended press conference held in Monrovia over the weekend, Mr. Shannon in attempting to explain the intent of Lindstrom’s publication said, “His sole intent is to portray the entire Liberian nation as corrupt as possible in the vein of winning the sympathy of Canadian investors, whose money, in the millions, he has stolen on one hand, ND on the other hand swaying the attention of Canadian law enforcement authorities who are investigating and chasing him for his past deals. These monies were used to acquire mineral exploration licenses in Liberia between 2004 and 2005. Before 2008, little did we, as officials of the government of Liberia at the time, know that this man was a fraudster. Of course, he still is a fraudster of the highest order, as we will hope to prove to you later on in this press conference.”
The government officials at the conference who appeared to be exonerating themselves from Mr. Lindstrom’s accusation further said: “Although we are hurt as a nation to be accused of corruption by someone who is himself being chased for stealing millions of US dollars, the intent of this press conference is not only to prove our innocence or glorify his baseless accusations, we also hope to save investors and law enforcement officers time and energy that what Lindstrom has alleged is far from the truth. His intent is only to find an alibi in distracting criminal investigation against him; and finding excuses for the mess he has created for himself and eating, embezzling and mismanaging millions of Unit4d States dollars entrusted to his care by Canadian investors.”
However, the Canadian national in his book said the publication was the result of five years of frustration and immense economic loss for his company, Liberty Gold and Diamonds, as a result of repeated cheatings, manipulation, and extortion by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy.
He also accused the Liberian government of failing to abide by a Court decision in March 2011 which ordered a reinstatement and extension of mineral exploration licenses.
In 2009, MLME cancelled Liberty’s mining exploration licenses for what it called consistent default in paying government taxes but the court in Liberia ruled that the companies’ license be reinstated and extended on the grounds that due processes were not followed by the ministry.
Speaking at the press conference spearheaded by Dr. Shannon and supported by his former deputy and assistant, Carlton Miller, Mr ECB Jones and Mr Gessler Murray respectively, Dr. Shannon explained: “It will interest you to know that between 2004 and end of 2005, Mr. Lindstrom and his Liberty Group of Companies were in compliance with the rules and regulations of the MLME, paid the required license fees and implemented their work program. Mr. Lindstrom and his companies made no discovery of gold or diamond during this period. At the end of this period he had no complaint against the MLME.”
According to them, by 2009, Mr. Lindstrom begun to face problems with the ministry because he could no longer pay the government’s license fees and unable to implement the work program as enshrined in his Mineral Exploration Agreement. They claimed Lindstrom could neither pay his office rent nor employees any longer.
Dr. Shannon: “As a government our decision was simple, Mr. Lindstrom possessed six exploration licenses, fees for which he could no longer pay to the Liberian government. We held discussions , and after persistent pleads from him and the management of Liberty Gold for extended grace period due to their inability to make payment on their arrears to GOL, and citing the global financial crisis of 2008, the Ministry granted extensions on those properties on which Liberty Gold had conducted some appreciable geologic work and excluded those on which minimum geologic exploration program had been conducted.
“We terminated three. He was left with three, two of which he paid fees against. We generously granted him extension for these two licenses so to allow him to implement the Exploration Work Program within a given timeframe. We realized that nothing was done and so we terminated these two again. There was still one license we couldn’t do anything about because we truthfully realized he had not used it yet.
“The biggest question is, ‘were we wrong to terminate the contract of a man who failed to pay our taxes, a man who we realized was a fraudster and under investigation in his own country?’ We say No! We did the right thing by terminating his licenses. Not only was it good for our country, especially just emerging from wars, it was also good for investors, and criminal investigators in Canada whose monies and times he was and still is wasting by finding excuses and blaming Liberia for his criminal acts. We sympathize with them and are willing to help them with their investigation against this.”