“He’s Professional, He’s Not A Criminal”

Insiders Speak Of ‘Suspended’ Vice President for Compliance At LBDI

By Reuben Sei Waylaun

Some financial experts  both at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) and Central Bank of Liberia have overwhelmingly spoken well of the suspended Vice President for Compliance and Investments who has reportedly come in conflict with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

It can be recalled  that the (LBDI) upon recommendation from the Financial Intelligence Unit of Liberia suspended its Vice President for Compliance and Investments, Oday G. Vaye for a month without pay for reported violation of the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Regulation.

According to a release published on the website of the FIU dated May 19, 2020, the Financial Intelligence Unit found LBDI in breached of the regulation for late and incomplete filing of Suspicious Transaction Report (STR).

The Regulation mandates all reporting entities to file Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) within three days along with all of the particulars of the persons/ institutions the report is being file about.

The Regulation on Suspicious Transactions Reporting calls for fines and administrative actions which include removal of responsible staff or executives of financial institutions for breach.

FIU Regulation On Suspicious Transactions for Reporting Financial Institutions:

According to part three, section 3. 2 and 3.2.1 under (Sanctions), especially banks financial institutions, fines for late filing or reporting beyond three days is LRD50,000,00 for first offense, LRD175,000.00 for second offense, and all subsequent violations fine is LRD325,000.00 respectively.

The Insiders at LBDI:

However, since the suspension of Oday G. Vaye, there have been mixed views in the financial sector with some people even questioning his professional background.

But the New Republic Newspaper speaking to cross section of staff at the LBDI who had worked with Mr. Vaye for the past eight years, they rained praises on him because of his professional attitude.

According to them, the report delay due to family issue which has to do with the demise of his mother in Nimba County.

The insiders said he travelled to pay respect to his late mother by ensuring a befitting burial coupled with the lack of GSM network in the area he went for burial.

Some of the insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity said the bank was even constrained to suspend him, but was as a result of recommendation from the FIU, a regulatory body.

“The guy didn’t steal, he was not part of the transaction. He didn’t send the report in three days because he was bereaved, he lost his mother and was given a compassionate leave.  Besides, his location has network problem as well,” one insider at the bank said.

One of the insiders said the LBDI will not cooperate with anyone to undermine the mandates of the FIU, but the guy is one of the best Compliance professionals the country can boast of.

However, some of the insiders have said the FIU has made it clear that it is not in the business to threaten the LBDI as insinuated by some people.

Some of the insiders at the bank said the FIU should have fined him instead of recommending his suspension.   

From  CBL, few  bank officials  who have interacted with Mr. Vaye, said: “he is a very smart gentleman who knows  his job. Some of us have  interacted with him for sometime. There are certain  qualities we look for in compliance officers. And he has all the attributes and qualities. For me, I think he did not mean to  downplay  the submission of his report. He  is professional and knows his job,”

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