Smear Campaign Targets Minister McGill

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The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill, has recently become a target of smear campaign and blackmail from individuals trying to use his name and office to implement a money laundering scam.

   Minister McGill is seen as one of the closest confidants of President George M. Weah, and using his name for such scams could be of serious national and international embarrassment, with devastating and negative portraits for his character and reputation as well as the image of the Weah administration.

   However, the syndicate linking him to money laundering was recently busted, with one of the fraudsters attempting to use fake identities purporting to be Minister McGill to fraudulently ask unsuspecting persons to remit money to a phony mobile money account, and also using another fake working identity card from a non-existing company, the Universal Empowerment Missions, to carry out nefarious activities.  

    Minister McGill, realizing the implications of what the ugly situations will have on his reputation, said he has since alerted the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) and security agencies through the Ministry of Justice, and stated that one of the incidents involved someone who registered a SIM card with the number 0881471147 using his name on the Lone Star Mobile Money platform and has been asking people to remit money to it.

 In a screenshot shared with the Hot Pepper, the alleged fraudster was requesting that people send LRD 4444 to the number and to reference the number 21979.

Mobile Money transaction with the purported number of Min. McGill

    Minister McGill said he has already filed his complaint to the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), the regulatory institution of the government that regulates and monitors all communication related transactions in the country.  Also, investigation by the Hot Pepper revealed that, indeed, the name of the minister is fully registered on the fraudster’s SIM card and the remittance platform of the Lone Star GSM network.

   The second incident involved an individual also using his name on a fake identification card of a non-existent company, Universal Empowerment Missions, with the designation as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) officer with the company which, according to its address, is located in Kpelle Town, ELWA Community, Paynesville.

   The alleged criminal exhibits of the perpetrator are presently in the possession of the state security, through the Ministry of Justice, and Minister McGill has called on the Justice Ministry to thoroughly investigate the matter.

    Minister McGill, who said he is not sure if the alleged criminals have succeeded in defrauding people using his name, noted that the matter was recently brought to his attention and he quickly communicated same with the Justice Ministry, and expressed hope that the ministry will fast-track its investigation in order to bring the perpetrators to book.

    Fraudulent transactions of such have been on the prowl around the world where perpetrators normally target high-profiled politicians, business persons and celebrities. According to an anti-fraud security expert, who pleaded not to be named in the press, while he may not know the intent of the individuals behind the scene he was not surprised that they are targeting Minister McGill because he is a well-known government official and a possible target to be used for blackmail.

    “Normally these kinds of transactions have two intentions: one is to steal and the other is to target a very important person just to blackmail. Just imagine hearing such very negative news that Minister McGill is involved in money laundering…” he said.

Individual purporting as Minister Nathaniel F. McGill
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