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Indian National in Court for US$124K Theft

first_imgThe case against Maxx Rental Incorporated, a car rental company manager and its chief accountant, Sanju Jose Thayankeril, an Indian national, and Lorena Reeves, a Liberian accused of US$124,730.75 theft started last week at Criminal Court ‘C’ in Monrovia.Both Thayankeril and Reeves have pleaded not guilty to the multiple-count indictment brought against them by the government when they were first arraigned in court.The parties (prosecution and defense teams) have already concluded with their final legal arguments into the matter and are therefore waiting for Judge Yussif Kaba to declare them either guilty or not.At last week’s hearing, Judge Kaba did not give a definite time when he would render his judgment.Thayankeril and Ms Reeves will serve prison terms between five to ten years and made to pay back the money, if found guilty.Between July 2015 and April 2016, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Emmanuel Togba, claimed that the defendants (Thayankeril and Reeves) used their respective positions to design a criminal scheme where they successfully prepared a fictitious vehicle rental request purporting same to be emanating from one of the company’s clients, the World Food Program (WFP).They were alleged to have used the request to raise a payment voucher for the US$124,730.75 and fraudulently transferred the money from the Maxx Rental bank account into their personal savings account for the period between July 2015 up to and including April 2016.Their alleged withdrawal was intended to ensure that the rental service was provided to the WFP, while in reality the UN entity made no such request, for which the defendants en-cashed the check and withdrew the money for their personal use and benefits.Before the withdrawal, Togba claimed that in June 2015, Thayankeril and his co-defendant (Reeves) encouraged him to join the company and served as its chief executive officer.When the deal was sealed, Togba alleged that the defendants issued to him a 35 percent share in the company and the CEO post, on condition that he made available the collateral to secure a loan from the GT Bank.It was based upon “the encouraging post (CEO),” that Togba allegedly used his seven bed-room story building, situated at the ELWA Rehab Road in Paynesville, as collateral for an amount of US$150,000 in the name of Maxx Rental Incorporated to the bank.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Canada human rights plans fraught with peril say experts and activists

first_imgOTTAWA – Luis Fernando Monroy has literally found himself in the crosshairs of a Canadian foreign policy dilemma: Is Canada truly living up to its commitment to protecting ethnic and minority rights across the globe?In April 2013, he was shot three times in the face and once in the back by security guards outside the gates of Guatemala’s Escobal mine, operated by Canada’s Tahoe Resources Inc. (TSX:THO).Monroy was part of group protesting the environmental impact the Canadian mine was having on his rural southeastern Guatemalan community, the disruption of rural life in the indigenous area and a lack of consultation.That has become a familiar complaint against Canada’s all-dominant mining industry, which owns more the half the companies operating in Latin America, Asia and Africa.Last week, the United Nations working group on business and human rights concluded a visit to Canada by urging the government and business to “step up their efforts to prevent and address adverse human rights impacts of business activities, both at home and abroad.”The UN panel called for “meaningful consultation” with indigenous groups affected by natural resource projects.“Canada may say it respects human rights,” Monroy said Thursday. “They don’t consult with us … they just roll over all of our rights.”In a striking foreign policy speech this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed the protection of minority rights of all kinds — an issue that will rear its head Friday when International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau releases her development policy review.That’s because the new development plan is expected to contain new details on how government aid projects can find partners in the private sector.Alex Neve, the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, said public-private development partnerships are not inherently bad.But unless the government can develop something successive ones have failed to deliver — a corporate social responsibility process with real teeth — its broad-based advocacy of human rights, and plans to partner with business on aid projects, are fraught with danger, he said.“We still do not have the laws and policies in place to hold our mining companies to account for their human rights performance when they leave the country,” Neve said. “It’s a significant shortcoming and would really undermine what is at the heart of the ministers’ vision.”Phil Robertson, the deputy Asian director of Human Rights Watch, said Canada is seen as one of the “good guys” in the region where he works, because of what Freeland professed on behalf of the government.Freeland said Canada’s role in the world is to “set the standard for how states treat women, gays and lesbians, transgendered people, racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious minorities, and indigenous people.”But Robertson said there are less-obvious pitfalls as Canada pursues its trade and business interests in Asia — a key part of the government’s economic growth strategy — and it embarks on public-private aid partnerships.In countries such as Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, “there are still ongoing issues with vulnerable minorities,” he said.The government and companies have to be wary about whom they strike business deals with and whether they represent legitimate grassroots interests, he said.“These elite interests who would present themselves as possible business partners don’t necessarily reflect the people on the ground.”Well-intentioned Canadians need to be wary, he said, of “assurances that everything is sorted, the land is completely free to be used” because that might not be the case.The business interests that rolled through his corner of Guatemala ignored the input of local indigenous communities, said Monroy, who has now become an activist since the attack on him four years ago deprived him of his sense of smell.After he was shot, he spent 16 days in hospital and had four operations, and then underwent 18 months of physical therapy because his nose was shattered in a hail of rubber bullets, he said Thursday in an Ottawa diner one block from Parliament Hill.Also Thursday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for a lawsuit filed by the protesters against B.C.-based Tahoe, rejecting a bid by the company to challenge the venue.“Canada says it brings development to other countries. Actually what it brings are mining projects,” Monroy said through a translator.“We have a right to a healthy environment. We live off the land. It’s what we have. It feeds us. It’s our future. We don’t need these big companies coming in saying they’re bringing development when really what’s happening is destruction.“This is not the development we need.”last_img read more