- Liberia - Sierra Leone - United States
Charles Taylor’s billions traced in US banks
Charles Taylor, the former head of state of Liberia, who is currently being tried in the Hague by the Special Court for Sierra Leone is said to have kept about $5bn in two US banks while he was still president.
"We’ve certainly found evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars taken by Charles Taylor illegally in various banks at different times ... We have evidence of two accounts that were maintained in his name in the United States during his presidency," Chief prosecutor Stephen Rapp confirmed in an interview with the bbc.
Mr. Taylor had denied earlier accusations of stashing money away in foreign bank accounts, saying that if any money was found he would give it back to the Liberian people.
Mr. Taylor, who started the Liberian war which lasted for about 14 years, is undergoing trial for allegedly playing an important role in the 10 year war in Sierra Leone which killed several thousands and mutilated many others, including the recruitment of child soldiers.
Taylor was transfered for trial in Hague due to his influence in the region as well as fears that his trial could spark renewed violence. He has denied all 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Many countries are currently cooperating to help trace funds siphoned into foreign accounts.