Drama unfolded on Tuesday, December 24 at the Embassy Suite Hotel, opposite US Embassy on Mamba Point, when both foreign and local employees were asked by Court sheriffs to immediately vacate the premises.
It all started when sheriffs, acting on an order from the Commercial Court, at the Temple of Justice, were instructed to close the hotel and arrest its Lebanese manager Anwar Saoud.
Mr. Saoud was held liable for the amount of US$1,084,595.62 in an “Action of Debt” brought against him by Ecobank Liberia.
They did not see Mr. Saoud when they arrived at the compound.
It took them more than three hours after holding closed door discussions in one of the hotel offices with some of occupants of the hotel.
It is not clear whether Saoud was among them.
The sheriffs managed to seize and close the entire compound after a red jeep was spotted entering and leaving few minutes later accompanied by another silver jeep.
It was not clear who the red jeep escorted out of the compound in the silver jeep.
However, the Daily Observer received a tip that it was Mr. Saoud’s wife and children, who were escorted out in the silver jeep.
Workers were heard asking the court officials to allow them to go back in the fence and collect what they had left behind.
“What will happen to the food we left behind?” one asked.
Others were heard saying, “This is a complete bad luck. Why should this happen now?”
Their appeal was not accepted by the sheriffs whose only concern, according to our reporter, was to execute the court’s mandate.
The court officers took possession of the entire compound and prevented vehicles from entering.
Officers of a private security firm, Eagle Security Service, hired by the hotel to protect its premises, were still seen performing their duty.
However, after taking over the compound, the sheriffs was seeing talking with Eagle Security Service apparently to replace them with another private security firm, Segal Guard Service.
The Court’s ordered copy of which is in the possession of this paper instructed: “You are to attach and take possession of all identifiable properties monies, vehicles and real properties of the management of Embassy Suite Hotel and all authorized in the action of debt by attachment in the amount of US$ US$1,084,595.62 to recover the principle and cost in these proceedings.”
It further instructed: “You are to arrest the living body of Mr. Anwar Saoud and keep him in custody, if he fails to show properties to cover the amount due the bank and cost in their proceedings.”