Binyah C. Kesselly spoke to us in February, before the release of revelations over the Panama Papers.
At the time, he was the commissioner of the Liberian Maritime Authority, which has oversight of Liberia's offshore corporate registry.
He said he expected Liberia to be removed from the current European list once the country had ratified its tax information exchange treaty with Poland, which it signed in 2013.
Binyah Kesselly, former commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), which has oversight of the corporate registry, said in answer to e-mailed questions that the number of companies registered is kept confidential because of competition in the maritime industry.
Kesselly, the former chief executive of the Liberian Maritime Authority, said the characterisation of Liberia as a tax haven is a "misconception".Kesselly said Liberia is not listed as a "high-risk" jurisdiction by the Financial Action Task Force, and that diplomatic correspondence with the EU suggests the country will be taken off the European list of tax havens later this year.
Calling the registry "a national resource", he said that every nonresident Liberian corporation must have an agent and an address in Liberia where official documents and mail can be served, regardless of whether anything else happens there.
In addition, non-resident corporations pay fees to the Liberian government on incorporation and every year thereafter, as well as when they file documents.
"The government views these programmes as national resources and is committed to protecting these resources by modernising them to both meet the needs of clients, and maintain compliant ratings from our international peers," Kesselly said.
In June 2010, the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Hon. Binyah C. Kesselly, sanctioned the establishment of the Maritime Intelligence and Investigations Unit (MIIU), a marine surveillance gathering and investigations unit.
Speaking about the significance of the aptitude test, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Mr. Binyah C. Kesselly told applicants that it was necessary to identify those with potential and excellent abilities, and train them in order to kick off the mammoth task of training up to 10,000 seafarers. ''Discipline and respect are expected of you when you are aboard a vessel.
You represent the Liberian flag and whatever behavior you exhibit reflects directly on your country, Liberia.
If I will be hated for this, I won't lose a sleep over it but no one is going to taint the reputation we have built over the years in the shipping world……no!
Not on my watch.'', Mr. Kesselly in a rather serious tone averred.
It can be recalled that Mr. Kesselly during a weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism stated that the Liberia Maritime Authority will over the next four years train and seek employment for up to 10,000 young Liberian seafarers between the ages of 18 and 30 years.
Said Mr. Kesselly at the Press Briefing: ''I have the support of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Maritime Authority and the Maritime Committees of both the House and the Senate towards the achievement of this goal.
It's an embarrassment that Liberia, which has the second largest shipping registry in the world can't boast of more than 50 trained and certified seafarers''.
Mr. Kesselly further stated: ''We are poised to see the accomplishment of this goal and the entire management team at Maritime is very involved with this initiative.
We can assure the Liberian people that the president's promise of job creation will be hugely supported by this initiative.'' He concluded.
Earlier, Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) Commissioner, Binyah C. Kesselly, commended his special guests and RMU board members for attending the meeting and expressed the hope that the Liberia Meeting of the RMU will provide sound bases upon which the university will move forward.Mr. Kesselly, a US-trained business strategist and public administrator, also thanked member states of the RMU for supporting the recent election of Liberia as second vice chair of Committee (1), of the 27 Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).He noted that Liberia's election to chair the prestigious IMO committee was a victory for RMU member countries and other African countries.
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