Mr. Emanuel Shaw, once a close confidant of former president Charles Taylor, has been tapped by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as the new chair of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA).
Mr. Shaw, also a former Finance Minister for the junta in the 1980s, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the defunct LoneStar Airways He was placed on the UN Security Council Travel Ban List.
According to South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper, Mr Shaw is known to have spent most of his time in South Africa during the Liberian Civil War.
Also, Dutch and South African newspapers indicate that former President Charles Taylor, along with Emmanuel Shaw, was running a “notorious” drug ring and shady operations in South Africa.
Het Parool, a leading Dutch newspaper, carried a prominent news story last year, linking Mr. Shaw and Mr. Taylor to a notorious drug syndicate. The Mail & Guardian, for its part, reported: “Shaw was the (Liberia National Petroleun Company’s (LNPC’s) Chief Executive and later appointed as president by his trusted associate Mark Wolman. Wolman, a South African, ran a private oil company called Tiger Oil, which was a key sanctions- buster. Mr. Shaw acted as a ‘consultant’ for Tiger when he arranged for it an exclusive contract to supply petroleum products to the LPRC in 1987 in a similar scheme to the one he pulled off with the LNPC. Wolman was brutally murdered in Cape Town last year in what appeared to be an execution by a drug gang. Shaw’s passport was found in Wolman’s briefcase”.
Below is the full story culled from the Mail Guardian:
His main occupation was stealing’
The man charged with reshaping South Africa’s oil industry was accused in a United States court of masterminding a fraudulent scheme to pocket the profits from Liberia’s petrol sales while serving as the country’s finance minister.
Court papers in the possession of the Mail & Guardian offer an astonishing expos of one of the most ambitious moneymaking schemes pulled off by Emanuel Shaw II while in power under the Liberian dictator Samuel Doe.
The papers also include several blanket indictments of Shaw such as: “It was common knowledge in Liberia, and internationally as well, that his [Shaw’s] main occupation while holding the office of Minister of Finance was to steal as much money as possible from the government and people of Liberia.”
Shaw is now earning at least R3-million a year advising South Africa’s state oil company on its restructuring and privatisation. His controversial appointment by state oil chief Don Mkhwanazi was the subject of a three-day commission of inquiry this week at the Department of Minerals and Energy. The findings are expected to be released next week. Shaw has also worked for listed fuel company Engen whose chief, Rob Angel, was quoted last week saying Shaw was a “very, very bright man”.
Shaw, one of Doe’s closest confidants, fled Liberia ahead of the dictator’s downfall in 1990, but before he did so he allegedly masterminded an elaborate ploy to rob the impoverished country of about $27-million – in effect the remaining assets the country had abroad.
The court papers establish that Shaw set up a new national oil company in which he was a major shareholder, resigned as finance minister, and then wrote a letter as if he were still finance minister obligating the government to pay his oil company millions of dollars.