It appears that one of the country’s well respected banks is focusing more on legislations rather than serving its numerous customers. For the past years, its lawyers have been seen at various courts fighting legal battles at all front, mainly with its customers.
One of such was Mr. Charles Sirleaf, whose accounts, money was said to have been taken from without his knowledge.
Later, the former managing director of GT bank was dragged to court by an employee for assaulting him. Again, one of its customers, Cllr. George Kailondo took the bank to court and won. But Cllr. Kailondo said he is taking a further step by taking legal action for a US$2.5m lawsuit in damage claim.
This time, it is going on with damages and misapplication of entrusted funds and others.
So, it started last week. For the three days jury sitting on Wednesday June 22, 2022, before Circuit Court Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay where Cllr. Kailondo, who is the owner of the Kailondo Petroleum Incorporated, accused the Bank of allegedly stealing US$3m from his company’s accounts.
Kailondo Petroleum said that his businesses continue to suffer because of a letter written by GT Bank to commercial banks requesting them not to do business with the company. This, he said, has damaged his company’s reputation and is making it difficult for him to do any business. Therefore, he has no option but to drag GT bank to court.
Last week, KP displayed evidence in court chronologically on how the Management of GT-Bank Liberia Limited allegedly took the amount in question from his account.
‘’We are claiming US$2.5 million in general damages that we continue to suffer because of GT Bank. Because these letters are pending with all the commercial banks as we speak,” Mr. Kailondo, the first witness for the plaintiff said.
The Court’s June 21, 2022 Writ of Subpoena on GT-Bank’s Management was predicated on a request from Cllr. Kailondo’s Legal Team which was never rejected by the Bank’s Lawyers.
He told the court that his company was shocked to discover in August (last year) when all the commercial banks called to inform him that GT Bank had written them (Commercial banks) not to allow him open business account with them in the name of Kailondo petroleum Inc., or anything that has to do with his name. This, Kailondo’s lawyers said greatly affected his business.
Due to such letter to all commercial banks, some of his stations have been closed, thus depriving him from getting money.
If we have all our money, our business could have been flourishing, like Petrol Trade or Total Liberia’’ he noted.’
The Kailondo Group of Companies, is dully registered under the laws of the Republic of Liberia, include the Kailondo Petroleum Inc., Kailondo Hotel, Kailondo Transport Service, Kailondo Service Stations, Kailondo and Associates Law Firm, Partner and Co-owner of Executive Inn Hotel and Kailondo Microfinance.
According to Cllr. Kailondo, they have been in the business of petroleum for over three decades. In 2013 when they were licensed as importer of petroleum product, they opened an account with defendant GT Bank and approached them that they wanted a letter of credit in the amount of US$300,000.00 but the bank asked that they deposit US$2,000,000.00 into the account first.
He said the company subsequently made the required deposit amount, which was placed into an escrow account. Later they wrote the bank seeking another instrument in the form of a letter of credit which was subsequently granted in 2015.
He said upon receiving the letter of credit, they brought in products in three installments: 1000 metric tons, 2000 metric tons and 2000 metric tons. He said all the products were sold and the monies deposited in their GT Bank account.
He said other transactions followed over a period of one year before requesting that last letter of credit for US$2.3 million.
Kailondo noted that in September 2017, a collateral manager by the name ACES was written by the defendant that they should pay US7, 91,000.00 indicating that the last shipment payment was not fully settled.
According to him, there was no authorization, or communication between Kailondo petroleum Inc., and the defendant bank but they sold the product and deposited the money into an escrow account without his knowledge.
“The defendant bank came to us that we should sign some agreements for the last shipment which I did. However, they were in the know that we had losses on the last shipment because the price of petroleum products declined on the world market. Kailondo testified to several transactions over the period to which he claimed that the bank has caused his business some harm and therefore is making the claims.”