Home Economy To Owe Taxes “Not Criminal” …Cummings On Closure of Bility’s Srimex Oil and Gas Company

To Owe Taxes “Not Criminal” …Cummings On Closure of Bility’s Srimex Oil and Gas Company

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By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah

MONROVIA: The Political Leader of the Collaborating Political Party (CPP), Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings says businessman turned politician, Musa Hassan Bility, whose Srimex Oil and Gas Company has been shut down by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), on claims of withholding government has committed no crime.

The LRA also blamed Bility for his alleged failure to settle his indebtedness to the National Road Fund tax revenue as well.
The CPP Standard Bearer, through his official Facebook Account, stressed that Bility committed no crime by owing taxes to the government.
According to Cummings write-up, tax invasion is not a criminal offense. He chided LRA for publicizing the information while terming the LRA as being unfair.

Cummings urged the general public and political actors against making hasty conclusions on grounds that LRA’s narration of the matter remains a mere allegation.

“Until something else is shown to the contrary, we stand with Musa. Maybe politics came into play; we cannot pretend that it’s not possible,” he declared.

LRA, as a state-owned entity, is charged with the statutory responsibility to collect all government lawful taxes.
Cummings, however, pointed accusing finger at the former ruling Unity Party (UP), for bearing some responsibility for LRA’s closure of Mr. Bility’s Srimex Oil and Gas Company.
Cummings, while clarifying that there were no evidence to his claim that the UP may have played any role in the LRA’s closure action against Srimex Oil and Gas Company, stressed that politics may have influenced the LRA decision.
He stressed that “In Liberia, anything is possible.”
Also, in what seems to be a passionate defense of Bility’s character, Mr. Cummings ‘brushed aside’ FIFA’s indictment against Hassan Bility on allegation of misappropriation of funds.

According to Cummings, FIFA is an organization that has suffered severe integrity deficit, and as such, lacked the moral pedestal to being viewed as an integrity institution.
“FIFA is not the most credible organization. People should not regard FIFA as a prestigious institution,” he stated.
It can be recalled that on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, LRA closed down the Srimex Oil and Gas Company located on Capitol By-pass owing to its alleged failure to pay its taxes in the tone of more than one million United States dollars.
Mr. D. Kaihenneh Sengbe, LRA’s Communication Manager, speaking on the matter explained that the closure action was against the Srimex Oil and Gas Company and not Bility.

Sengbe clarified that the move was not targeted at a particular person, but a routine action instituted against several businesses and companies with the primary goal to recover government’s lawful taxes.

Although Mr. Sengbe did not provide details relative to the exact amount Srimex Oil and Gas Company owes the Liberian government, Mr. Bility said on a Facebook broadcast that he owes US$165,000 in taxes.
Moreover, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SRIMEX Oil and Gas Company, Musa Hassan Bility, has accused Isaac Flomo, Senior Officer for VAT Policy at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and an official of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), of the being the mastermind for the closure of his (Bility’s) SRIMEX Oil and Gas Company by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).

In Flomo’s Tuesday Facebook post, he questioned the credibility of Bility for trading with a political party that considers itself fixer of the country’s old problems when he (Bility) cannot pay taxes that he owes to government.

“If Musa Bility is a tax rogue, so what is the role of the so-called Fixer 1 in Alexander Benedict Cummings? We tire of monkey black hands,” Flomo said in his Facebook post.

In his reaction to Flomo’s post, Bility said: “And for the records: Isaac is a Unity Party’s partisan who is working in disguise in the interest of the UP.

‘’ His affirmation of being the poster of the post is a clear manifestation of what I have been saying.
‘’This one that happened to my business is not masterminded by the current regime. It is being clandestinely perpetuated by profiteers of the erstwhile Unity Party regime who think they are entitled to the country.

‘’ If this government does wrong, I will attack the government. But, I will not blame government for what member of the Unity Party did to me,” Bility declared.

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