A few years ago, officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) coined the now notorious phrase ‘German Pay-day’ to describe the act of illegal seizure of goods and money from businesspeople by policemen.
The LNP has recently taken measures to crackdown on those among their ranks troubling these civilians.
Heeding the outcry from human rights activist and the public, the LNP mobilized a crack team of officers to storm the Red-light Market during peak business hours.
When the LNP team arrived, they started arresting their fellow policemen observed to be in the habit of seizing traders’ goods and issuing tickets illegally to drivers under the pretense of violating traffic rules and regulations.
After the crackdown, the captured officers were bundled into a police pick-up and sent to the LNP’s central administration headquarters on Capitol Hill.
The detained police officers are accused of seizing goods from traders under the guise of conducting investigations questioning why street vendors are selling on the main streets.
Similar exercises have been carried out with less success at the general markets of Duala, Waterside and Broad, Randall, Mechlin Streets and many other commercial centers in Monrovia over the years.
During the crackdown at the Red-light Market, hundreds of happy traders, commercial and private vehicle operators expressed delight over the action of the police. They called on LNP central administration to initiate similarly well-planned exercises at other commercial districts in the country.
The Daily Observer interviewed some of the jubilant traders at the Red-light Market last week who commended the police’s action and urged LNP leadership to continue the initiative on a sustained basis.
“Thank God for the police action, I hope the LNP leadership will not redeploy these predators that have tormented us so much. These corrupt officers prevented us from making any real profit from our businesses,” explained Francis Gonda, a 48-year-old businessman.
Commercial vehicle operator Freeman Browne, 38, noted that he is now able to make correct financial reports to the car owner owing to the absence of dishonest police officers at the Red-light Market.
“I’m actually happy at the moment because, our tormentors have left the streets,” Mr. Browne said jubilantly.
A cassava seller, Madam Hawa Kollie Mulbah, 28, stated that she was glad the corrupt police officers had been removed and urged the LNP leadership to punish those officers for their illegal actions.
“I’m so happy that this ugly ‘German Pay-day’ business has ended,” Madam Mulbah concluded.