By David A. Yates
Due to their failure to detect that a gang of criminals was breaking into the National Port Authority (NPA) and also attempting to break into the Ecobank Liberia vault, officers from the Safety and Security Division of the Liberia Seaport Police (LSP) on duty on the night of the robbery have been placed on immediate administrative suspension and ordered to cooperate and assist with the investigation.
The incident took place at about 2:30 a.m. last Saturday at the NPA and Ecobank facilities on Bushrod Island.
According to sources, the criminals broke into the vault of the NPA and emptied it, although NPA officials are yet to disclose what was stolen. After that, the gang of robbers made an unsuccessful attempt to break into the Ecobank vault.
The confusing thing about the entire situation, according to port staff, is that LSP officers who are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the NPA facilities and properties, were on duty while the criminals carried out the robbery.
Furthermore, the port’s CCTV and other security apparatus did not work on the night of the alleged burglary.
The officers from the Safety and Security Division were suspended indefinitely without pay and are subject to investigation, while the Liberia National Police is probing the matter.
Meanwhile, the management of Ecobank Liberia confirmed an attempt by alleged criminals to rob the branch, situated in the Port. The alleged robbers forcibly entered through the back door of the branch but could not make their way to the vault.
There was absolutely no loss of property or money, said a source at Ecobank. A management spokesman said assets at the Freeport branch are intact and that the bank is now open and its services restored.
The management said it is closely collaborating with the Liberia National Police to ensure that the culprits are apprehended.