Authorities at the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) have arrested and sent to court 15 foreigners and others who are being charged with multiple crimes including aiding and harboring illegal migrants and illegal penetration of Liberia’s borders.
Fourteen of those arrested are identified as Cecelia Weamia, Rebecca Dennis, Kadie Konteah, Irene Shegbeh, Famata Korma, Jonathan Amiob , Martin Rogers, Fatu Sambe, John Mathies , Mohammed Kamara, Daniel Banya, Idrissa Turay and Enoch Sayuwo.
According to the BIN, those connected to the crimes were apprehended by the BIN on January 4 upon entering into the country at the by- passes near the Bo-Waterside border in western Liberia and the Ganta border in northeastern Liberia, Nimba County.
The accused were subsequently hosted by one Pinky Luogon at her premises located in Paynesville in the Bernard Farm Community.
Pinky claimed to be the boss of the accused, the BIN charge sheet states.
Accordingly, the 15 defendants were arrested based upon verified information gathered by immigration officers, noting that these individuals “illegally, criminally and defiantly entered Liberia’s borders in violation of a mandate by the government to close all borders as part of measures to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).
Meanwhile, the travelling documents of the suspects, including those belonging to their host Pinky are currently in the possession of the immigration authorities in Monrovia.
The 15 defendants are currently being arraigned at the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice to face prosecution.
Commissioner Reeves acknowledged that given the significant progress made recently in reducing the transmission of the Ebola virus, some of those aliens who left the country are gradually returning.
In a related development, the BIN has said that despite the Ebola crisis, it maintains excellent working relations with other security agencies to maintain peace and stability in Liberia.
BIN Commissioner Reeves highlighted as a major achievement of the Bureau its ability to ensure that Liberia’s borders remain safe with no major incidents.
Reeves noted that threats from the deadly Ebola virus resulted in a 65 percent departure of Liberia’s migrant community, which in turn led to a drop in revenue collection.