The government entity responsible to collect tax revenue, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) is flexing its muscles and has shutdown several businesses including those owned and operated by Lebanese merchants.
LRA's decision comes amid reports that several businesses were depriving government of tax revenue.
According to court document, LRA obtained a writ of search and seizure warrant through the Ministry of Justice from the Monrovia Magisterial Court at the Temple of Justice to close down businesses that are depriving government of tax revenue. LRA Legal Counsel Atty. Max T. Duncan, working with staff of the entity and court officers, enforced the court's order last Saturday. Several Lebanese owned businesses were affected by the closure.
A total of 18 businesses in Monrovia and surrounding suburbs were affected most of whom are owned and operated by Lebanese.
Stipendiary Magistrate Kennedy Peabody of the Monrovia Magisterial Court, in his writ of search and seizure warrant to the sheriff of the court stated, “you further commanded to that upon the discovery of these items to bring them before this honorable court in keeping with law and make your returns and endorsed at the back of this writ as to the form and manner of service therefore. And for so doing, this shall constitute your legal and sufficient authority.”
However, lawyers representing some of the affected businesses informed journalists that the search and seizure warrants used by LRA were unlawful.