Liberia: Notorious Ivorian ‘Criminal’ Linked to Ganta Armed Robbery Incidents
— Including the one that that led to the death of Nimba Defender
A notorious Ivorian armed robber, Weamie Abu, who reportedly escaped from jail in the Ivory Coast, is said to be linked to a series of armed robbery incidents that are evoking fear in residents of Ganta city, the Liberia National Police (LNP) has said. The police have since placed Abu on a “wanted list.”
The latest robbery involving the Ivorian, the police said, was one that led to the death of a defender from the Nimba County football team.
Weamie Abu is said to be the ringleader of the two separate armed robbery incidents that rocked Ganta in both December 2022 and February 7, 2023, with the latter leading to the death of the football defender, Victor Sabu Yenglee.
It had been circulating on the local radio that Weamie, Yenglee and another man to be identified were seen together in Karnplay and later in Sanniquellie heading toward Ganta two days before the February 7, 2023 robbery incident.
The three were suspected of involvement in the incident that ended Yenglee’s life, when he was mobbed to death, while his colleague fled the scene on board a motorcycle. A few days later, police in Sanniquellie nabbed who is reportedly one of the robbers, but the ringleader, Abu remains at large.
The recent wave of broad-day armed robbery incidents have left Ganta at a standstill, with police restricting the movement of people, especially around the Total Gas Station, where the armed robbers have reportedly kept their focus due to the concentration of commuters and business activity.
In late December 2022 at about 5:00pm local time in The Glenluu Community, an armed robber, using a 1.5mm pistol, attacked a money exchanger identified as Metthew Yeanay and made away with over US$5,000 and over L$150,000.
The robbers shot the money exchanger in his right leg to weaken him before taking away the money bag and fled the scene. It was the same community that witnessed the February 7, 2023 saga which left the footballer dead.
There was skepticism over the involvement of Sabu, but during the 15-man coroner jury investigation a live bullet was found in the pocket of Nimba County Team defenders, the same bullet which shells were found at the robbery scene.
Police quoted one of the cousins of Sabu as saying that when he got to the scene, he saw the late Sabu laying in a pool of blood and he told his cousin in his dying voice that he was fooled by some of his friends.
Police said his cousin, identified as Felton, managed to save his life, trying to rush him to hospital, but nobody was around or willing to help. He rushed to a nearby clinic to get a nurse, upon their arrival Yenglee was pronounced dead.
On February 7, 2023, Victor Yenglee, commonly known as 'Sabu Yenglee' was among three men who went to robbed a resident around the same community where in late December 2022, a money exchanger was shot and a huge sum of money was taken from him, using automatic arm and riding on a motorbike.
The late Sabu Yenglee was among the players who helped Nimba County defeat Lofa in the final of the 2022/2023 County Meet. His involvement with armed robbers, which subsequently led to his death, is shocking to many Nimbaians across Liberia and the diaspora, expressing frustration over how damaging it is to the County.
Nimba County's victory at the recent County Meet final was highly celebrated across the length and breadth of the County for almost a month and the funds the County Team generated for winning the soccer trophy were so huge, something nobody can believe that a player from the team could be involved in such a high criminal offense.
Other information gathered from popular WhatsApp page ‘AllNimba Agenda’ suggest that the robbers, including Sabu chased one Harris Kerkular, who had gone to change US$300 to Liberian dollars around tHe Total Gas Station to his house in the Glennluu Community before putting him at gunpoint and took his bag away, Police is yet to confirm this information.
Two persons were arrested in the December incident, including the motorcyclist who was taking the money exchanger, while the main perpetrator fled with both the gun and the money bag.
Yenglee was seen lying on his back with a red shirt, with bruises all on his face and gunshot shells surrounding him, but the gun was not seen.
The police is carrying on assessment across Nimba, especially Ganta and Sanniquellie to identify some criminal hideout or no – go zone for possible police deployment.
Ivorian, Weamie Abu is believed to be the main armed robber, who is believed to be in possession of the arm. He is always said to be around the border where he was photographed in a car after this recent incident.