Monrovia - A local rental service, Oragon International, has refuted media reporting, linking it to the purchase of stolen vehicles from the United States of America.
On Tuesday the FrontPage newspaper reported about stolen vehicles from America and that there is cover up to shield those involved in this illegal business.
One of the companies named in this alleged stolen scheme is Oragon International in Sinkor, which deals with car rental.
In its reaction yesterday, the General Manager of Oragon Rent A Car International, Mr. Ephraim Onohehe said the company is not part of said alleged theft of vehicle from the United States.
He said the company is not involved in the direct purchase of vehicles from the United States and wondered how it can be linked to such a criminal scheme.
Mr. Onohehe pointed out that all of its purchase of vehicles is done after those who imported said vehicles sell them to purchase, from whom Oragon purchase.
“We have no link to the importation of cars from the United States; we purchased cars from people who already purchased them from the importers.”
The General Manager said that as a “good faith purchaser,” it has no knowledge of the cars being stolen, stating that if this is the case, then it is as also a victim of this scheme.
Therefore, Oragon is entitled to recovery from the alleged stolen cars importers if indeed the investigation established theft by the importers.
On the claim that the company is not tax compliant, the Mr. Onohehe said this is not true because it has all records to show that it is tax compliance.
According to Mr. Onohehe said it has never been involved in any act to evade taxes, as a business entity registered under the laws of Liberia.
On the use of the photo of one of its shareholders, Dr. C. Nelson Oniyama, the Oragon Manager said this was unprofessional and unethical, as this has brought him negatively in the eyes of the public.
The publication of the names of the shareholders or Oragon has no link with the investigation and said disclosure is unwarranted as there is no evidence to substantiate the participation of the shareholders of Oragon in the alleged car theft.
Mr. Onohehe added that the use of the photo also suggests a link act of criminality, which is not the case in this matter of purchase because the company does not purchase or order vehicles directly from the States.
Mr. Onohehe said Mr. Oniyama, besides being one of the shareholders of Oragon, has worked for years with the Monrovia breweries, as its manager and that it was unfair to link him to criminal activities. Or link him to activities that would tarnish his hard-earned reputation especially when the report being quoted has not been formalized.
Regrettably, the Company executives were never contacted prior to the publication of this story which should have been done when it has to do with people character and reputation.
Oragon, according to the according to the newspaper, is 60 percent owned by Dr. C. Nelson Oniyama, 25 percent owned by Mrs. Grace Oniyama, 10 percent owned by Mr. Arnold Oniyama.
The stolen vehicles said to be valued close to US$ 300,000 came through the Liberia port of entry and has become the focus of both the US and Liberian governments.
The story said the office of the Solicitor General of the Ministry of Justice, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), National Security Agency (NSA), Liberia National Police (LNP), Ministry of Transport and the US Embassy near Monrovia are all part of the investigation.
Accordingly, Oragon wishes to emphatically state that none of its staff has ever link directly or indirectly to the alleged car theft being investigative as reported in the local media.
Oragon is therefore taken back the report failed to state the findings and/or the status of the investigation.
Nevertheless, it quoted multiple sources that there appears to be a major cover up preventing major arrests relating to the scheme.
“These people have links with some powerful people, including the Police, the courts and top people in government, this is why it is difficult to make major arrests or bring those involved to the book,” a source close to the investigation said Tuesday.