The Liberia National Police (LNP) have vowed to return “fire for fire” after arresting a Lebanese national identified as Hichen Alkhatib, for alliedly supplying very fearsome face masks used by alleged armed robbers,
“We are not going to sit there and allow criminals to shoot at the police anymore and go free; we are going to return fire for fire. We are going to engage them with arms for arms,” Col. Chris Massaquoi vowed on Monday, September 8 when he addressed a press conference at the LNP headquarters in Monrovia.
Alkhatib is believed to be the proprietor of the 750 Shopping Center situated on Somalia Drive in Gardnerville, a suburb of Monrovia.
The police chief claimed Alkhatib’s face mask was arrested with a suspect named Sam Dixon (alias ERU), who had allegedly robbed several residents within the Somalia Drive community.
Director Massaquoi further claimed that another two most notorious armed robbers, only identified as Lasso and Alieu, whom he said, were still on the run, are close associates of Alkhatib.
“Our investigation so far established that the green face mask used by armed robber Sam Dixon, alias ERU, was supplied by this Lebanese national,” the Police chief stated.
“Consequently the police conducted a search on the home of this Lebanese and retrieved five additional pieces of the identical green face mask that was arrested from ERU,” he further added.
At the same time, Director Massaquoi disclosed that eight other robbers have been arrested and were undergoing interrogations at the LNP’s headquarters in Monrovia.
The eight are alleged to have carried out their act in the Paynesville and Somalia Drive communities. “They were arrested with various kinds of dangerous weapons including arms and knives among others,” IG Massaquoi added.
“These criminals, we believe, have been terrorizing peaceful residents and taking away their personal belongings.”
He named a single barrel pistol, a cutlass, toy gun (pistol), two single barrel ammunitions, six pieces of green masks, two Chinese headlights and long military trousers as some of the materials retrieved during the raid.
Other items retrieved, he said; include laptops, cell phones and computer accessories.
According to him, they were making effort to apprehend another five suspected armed robbers believed to be on the run.
“We are exerting frantic efforts to arrest Lewis Kennedy, alias Prof; Kessely Mulbah, alias Kizo; and Patrick Wah, alias Color Boy.”
The police chief also admitted that his office has received numerous reports of a group of individuals roaming around communities, especially Paynesville, allegedly dressed in uniforms resembling those of the LNP.
“In order to address the issue, we have met private security entities whose uniforms have similarity to the LNP to immediately desist from using them from now on, and they are cooperating,” he disclosed.