-- After robbing a US citizen
The Crime Services Department of the Liberia National Police, Ganta Detail, has nabbed one of the Ganta’s most notorious armed robbers, who has been on the run for years.
According to the CSD, 28 year-old Bangalee Jabateh is one of chief masterminds of most of the armed robbery incidents that have taken place on the Main Street of Ganta of late.
He is said to be the ringleader of a gang of about 20 persons, moving around like ordinary citizens and scoping out night clubs as spies to know who all have money. Once they have identified their potential victims, they set an ambush for them when the person leaves the nightclub.
The arrest of Jabateh, who is also known as "Ugly", came after he and his gang attacked and robbed a 58 year-old US citizen, identified as Preston Marshall, on the Main Street of Ganta on October 19, 2021 at about 10pm local time, near Total Gas Station.
Mr. Marshall is also said to be a resident of the State of New Jersey, USA, and came to spend some time in Ganta.
Mr. Marshall said he was coming from Vicky’s Spot, near the Total Gas Station, walking down toward the ED Motel, where he was staying, when the group of men, all armed with cutlasses and knives, surrounded him, charged his pockets and took away his wallet and other valuable documents, including his US Green Card.
He told the police that his wallet contained US$1,000, his ATM Visa card, his important documents, and an ID card. "When I got out of Vicky Spot, the gang surrounded me with cutlasses, threatening to harm me if I put up any resistance," he told the police.
On the police charge sheet, the suspect, Bangalee Jabateh, denied attacking the man but said he was present when the gang attacked the man. He also admitted to police of being in possession of the man's wallet and was escorted by the LNP to retrieve it, but the money in question was not in the wallet.
Jabateh has been involved in numerous armed robberies on the street of Ganta, stealing valuables from travelers, especially those who arrived in Ganta at 10 or 11 pm. Recently, a lady was robbed in this same vicinity where her passport and foreign currency were taken away. Jabateh was alleged to have also been the main orchestrator of the attack, but he fled to Gbarnga, Bong County.
Upon his return to Nimba, Jabateh, along with some of his gang members including those identified as “De-West”, “Qway” and “69”, went on the robbing spree in Sanniquellie. Unfortunately one of his men was killed by an angry mob after they tried to rob a business woman.
The CSD had charged Bangalee Jabateh with armed robbery and theft of property and sent to the Ganta Magisterial Court for preliminary hearing.
But, a source told this paper that the family of Jabateh is negotiating with Mr. Marshall for a compromise so as to pay back the money. According to the city solicitor, if that happens, it will undermine the adjudication of the case, because the victim may not appear in court to testify at the hearing.