The Sierra Leone Timber Association led by their President Alan Barrie has disassociated itself from the operations of the Alie Sumna who is now facing charges of tax evasion and other related timber exportation.
According to the President Barry, the association had suspended him since September 13 last year, due to the fact that he was not acting in line with the ideals of the association.
“We are happy that the President has finally seen the light, in the way he was operating and giving the impression that he had the backing of State House while we and some members of the Association are owed over Le2b for timber. Some of them had gone to court and won but because he had or claimed to have influence from State House nothing came out of it.
The whole idea which the public had was that Suma was acting together with us. This is not true. Several people came to us and complained about the debts but we only could try to talk to them to be patient. Suma and his group told us that they were Americans and that we are Chinese, so they can afford to owe debts,” the Timber Association President said. The whole monopoly issue threatened the association to the extent that they started having division in Association.
Already, there is a splinter group which is forming an association of timber merchants.
Meanwhile, the timber saga is now causing ripples in the industry and until investigations are completed , the truth will reveal itself.
By Jay Willie
Monday June 16, 2014