Sirleaf, the son of ex-Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was charged in connection with the unlawful overprinting of local currency worth millions of U.S. dollars in 2019. Sirleaf, who was the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, was arrested alongside another former colleague following a probe into reports of missing banknotes and alleged malpractices at the bank. He was suspected of pocketing some of the proceeds from 2016 to 2018.
According to the Associated Press, Sirleaf and three other bank officials were charged with economic sabotage, the misuse of public money and criminal conspiracy on March 4, 2019.
In October 2018, scores of protestors hit the streets of Monrovia following rumors of disappearance of $100 million (about $15 billion Liberian dollars) worth of newly printed banknotes destined for the central bank.
The cash was said to have been shipped from Sweden late 2017, in the midst of Liberia’s elections to choose a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The incident sparked off blame games and travel bans, as well as, public outrage in one of the poorest countries in the world. Critics of the government pointed accusing fingers at President George Weah for the missing money while others blamed the former leader, Sirleaf.
The charges leveled against Mr. Charles, were, however, dropped in May this year.