Following a series of reported armed robberies in and around Monrovia, Police Director Chris Massaquoi yesterday disclosed the arrest of at least nine suspected criminals who they described as “hardcore jailbirds.”
The LNP said its actions were in response to the series of armed robberies that continue to pose a threat to public safety and the protection of lives and properties.
Police Director Massaquoi, addressing a press conference at the Liberia National Police headquarters on Capitol Hill said that on Saturday, November 14, police received a tip-off that a group of armed robbers was planning to attack the Fahai Business Center in Vai Town.
“Shortly after we got the tip-off, we dispatched some of our best trained officers, who in a dramatic move, arrested some of the suspects,” Director Massaquoi told reporters.
He named some of the suspects in custody as Frederick Walker, Darius Brown, Neequoi Sharpe, Henry Flomo, Davis Sengbah, and Prince Morris.
The suspects were in possession of firearms and were also wearing police uniforms, Director Massaquoi said.
“During preliminary investigations,” Director Massaquoi said, “one Tony Jamaal was identified as a financier of the armed robbers. He has also been arrested.”
“It was established during investigations that the same band of suspected robbers had on previous occasions, particularly on April 27, this year, stopped a black Nissan (Almeria) vehicle bearing license plate number PC-30379 and held the driver at gunpoint. The vehicle was conveying the amount of US$108,000 belonging to Abijaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation to Ecobank branch in Vai Town, on Bushrod Island. The robbers, Director Massaquoi said, made away with the cash on a motorbike.”
On Saturday, November 7, at about 2 p.m., he said the police received another tip-off that a group of suspected armed robbers were planning to rob the Equatorial Oil Palm Company in Grand Bassa County of US$123,000. The money, he said, was intended to pay the company’s employees on November 9.
Director Massaquoi said the suspects arrested in the aftermath of the fracas were identified as Samuel Logan, the ringleader, Patrick Gueh, Moses Fred and Shadrack Smith, while two other suspects, a Nigerian known as Rasta, and Jacob Teah, remaine at-large.
“On Thursday October 22, at 2 a.m., the home of Dr. James Kollie, Sr in Mouton Corner, Brewerville, outside Monrovia, was broken into allegedly by four men wearing police uniforms and armed with cutlasses and single barrel shotguns. The armed robbers took away some personal effects, including phones, cash in the amount of US$350 and his green Toyota vehicle, which was abandoned along the road and later recovered by the police,” he said.
Massaquoi also told reporters that on Friday November 7, at 1:30 a.m., the home of Dr. Jerry Brown, a surgeon at ELWA Hospital, was broken into by suspected armed robbers who wounded his security guard, Alexander Kollie, on his left arm. The robbers also took away Dr. Brown’s personal effects, including three laptops, three ipads, a tablet, a set of wedding rings, a play station and other items.
Director Massaquoi assured the public of the LNP’s preparedness to combat the growing wave of criminal activities. He, however, wants members of the public to cooperate with the police by providing “sensitive” information that the police could use to trap the robbers in their various hideouts.