Arson at Immigration HQ

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truck burnt.jpg

The Gbangay Town community headquarters of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), formerly Bureau of Immigration and Neutralization (BIN), was a scene of panic and disbelief when officers gathered at the football field nearby to see one of the seven decommissioned trucks burnt yesterday morning by unknown individuals.

No arrest has been made so far, according to LIS Commissioner Cllr. Lemuel Reeves. Cllr. Reeves, along with other senior officers, visited the field where five of the seven trucks were parked.

The truck was one of the vehicles the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) turned over to the Liberian government.

Gbangay Town Community is located in Sinkor, outside Monrovia.

It is alleged that the parking of the vehicles in the field had prevented community residents from using the field as their football practice ground, according to a community resident.

The resident did not say whether or not any member of the community was behind the torching of the truck, described as arson.

Commissioner Reeves said he got the information about 2am yesterday from some of his officers who was on duty.

“This comes as a surprise to us, because we are in a good relationship with the community and its leadership,” Cllr. Reeves said. “We are going to work along with other security agencies to identify the perpetrator(s). We will not rest until we bring whoever is responsible to justice.”

Other officers that visited the scene of the incident were heard suggesting that “the only way for us to get the perpetrator of the act is to arrest everybody in the community.”

That suggestion was, however, not supported by Commissioner Reeves who did not rule out the possibility of some officers being behind the incident.

“We cannot rule out the involvement of some of our officers who may have been dissatisfied with administrative decisions against them. These are issues our investigation will look at,” Cllr. Reeves emphasized.

Another officer, who did not want to be named, blamed the community for the attack.

“They burnt the truck because they wanted us to take them off their field. If that was the case, why they did not tell us ahead of time?” the officer said.

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