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April 17, 2014

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Liberia: Ex-forestry boss arrested for corruption

Updated Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 | 6:06 a.m.

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia's information minister says the former head of the West African country's state forestry agency has been arrested and indicted for allegedly defrauding the country of millions of dollars by issuing bogus permits that allowed foreign companies to exploit the country's hardwood forests between 2006 and 2012.

Lewis Brown said that Moses Wogbeh, former managing director of the Forestry Development Authority was held at Monrovia Central Prison Friday night. Brown said that a lawyer for the forestry agency has also been arrested and seven other officials are being sought on the same charges.

He said the illegal permits defrauded the government of 12 to 15 million dollars.

Wogbeh was dismissed last year when an investigation panel found that he and others misused Liberia's forests by granting illegal contracts.