Motorcyclists Turn ‘Criminals’ in Bassa

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In Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, a Daily Observer correspondent’s investigation has established a growing wave of criminal activities allegedly “involving several commercial motorcyclists.”

The criminal activities are reported in the wake of United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) drawdown.

The report alleged that some suspected motorcyclists have and continue to indulge in criminal activities in Buchanan and its environs to the extent that residents there are feeling insecure.

According to information gathered by this newspaper, some of the motorcyclists have in recent times reportedly committed murder, arson, theft and other crimes against peaceful residents and their properties.

Recently, a group of cyclists allegedly crushed to death a man they identified as a “notorious criminal.” It is also alleged that the motorcyclists wounded the murdered man’s friend in the melee that ensued, but that the friend (not named) managed to escape the wrath of the mob.

Eyewitnesses told the Daily Observer that the incident, which occurred in the Joe Quarter Community in Buchanan, was condemned by onlookers.

Another incident involved a motorcyclist who chartered another rider, only identified as Opa from Monrovia Junction, in the Harlandsville Community with the understanding that he was taking the passengers to Joe Quarter.

“Unfortunately, upon arrival, the so-called passengers (not named) attacked him and demanded his motorbike and money or else they wouldd kill him. In the process, the two persons broke the rider’s ten fingers and escaped,” our reporter quoted eyewitnesses.

Another account alleged that friends of the injured motorcyclists apprehended the two alleged bike thieves, beating one to death and gravely stabbing the other.

A similar mob violence allegedly involving motorcyclists was reported in the Dark Forest Community where angry residents, among them several motorcyclists, beat an alleged armed robber to death.

After they reportedly killed the suspected robber, the angry residents extracted several of his body parts, which they put on display in the streets of Buchanan – a situation that raised concern among peaceful residents.

Other incidents of mob violence resulted in the killing of an unidentified man and the reported burning of 47 houses in #2 B Sekou Town, Geegbarn Administrative District.

In yet another incident, some unknown motorcyclists in association with some suspected criminals reportedly went on a rampage looting and later burning a truck carrying several bags of rice to the Flower Mill Community in Lower Harlandsville Township.

The cyclists accused the truck driver of killing one of their riders.

It has also been reported that some motorcyclists in Buchanan are allegedly robbing their passengers, especially at night.

These alleged criminal activities, our correspondent said, have prompted police in the county to make a number of arrests of persons who they promised to process before sending them to court for prosecution.

Meanwhile, Buchanan residents are pleading to the government, through the Liberia National Police and the Armed Forces of Liberia, to speedily put a halt to these activities as they stand a chance of escalating, especially with the planned drawdown of UNMIL.

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