FoxNews —A South African company in the spotlight for paying $100,000 in speaking fees to White House adviser David Plouffe is also in business with a Liberian official under U.N. sanctions for his ties to convicted war criminal and former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor.
That’s among the latest details to emerge on the connections involving MTN Group, a subsidiary of which paid President Obama’s former campaign manager for engagements in late 2010, shortly before he joined the White House.
The ties to Liberia’s bloody Taylor era center on Benoni Urey, who was commissioner of maritime affairs in Liberia during Taylor’s reign. Urey remains on the U.N. assets-freeze and travel-ban list, even though a U.N. committee last month removed more than a dozen other Taylor allies from the list.
Urey is deeply involved with an entity called PLC Investments Limited, which is MTN’s business partner in Liberia. MTN confirmed the companies together own Liberia’s Lonestar Cell MTN — MTN owns 60 percent, and PLC Investments owns the rest. MTN has been in Liberia since 2006.
Before MTN got involved, the Lonestar company was suspected of being a “source of funds” for Taylor himself, according to a 2009 U.N. report.
That report also detailed Urey’s involvement, saying he and another individual tied to Taylor, Emmanuel Shaw, held positions on the Lonestar board of directors. Urey’s current role with PLC is a bit hazy — according to the U.N. report, one Liberian official reported Urey and Shaw owned PLC Investments, though other documents disputed that. Still, the report showed both officials were being paid by the company, and according to FrontPageAfrica newspaper, Urey and Shaw have been confirmed as current PLC managers.Continue Reading on www.foxnews.com