Seven Ivorian mercenaries arrested on July 14 and August 1, 2012 respectively in Grand Gedeh County have been charged with multiple crimes, including mercenarism, rape, theft of property, murder, arson and illegal possession of firearms by the Liberia National Police.
Liberia's Police Director Chris Massaquoi said the suspects were arrested in possession of 439 M-60 rounds, 755 AK-47 rounds, one Steel Rocket, four RPG Launchers, 41 pieces of empty AK-47 magazines and two empty magazines for pistol and explosives.
Director Massaquoi however said the Justice Ministry will decide whether or not, the mercenaries will be prosecuted in Liberia or turned over to the Ivorian Government following preliminary investigation.
Meanwhile, following thorough security investigation by the Liberia National Police (LNP), seven other apprehended Ivorian security officers, who fled rebel attacks in the neighboring country were Monday handed over to the Ivorian Ambassador in Monrovia KaPidetian Soro.
They included six soldiers and one police officer, who were apprehended by Liberian joint security at the Liberian- Ivorian Border during the August 13, 2012 rebel attack on the Pehkan Military Barracks in Ivory Coast.
The six soldiers include corporals Blah Detoua Annicet, Soro Karina Noussa, Toneu Goundowo Jeanyierre, Silue GolokaFolo, Tiony Gerard and Binate Anara, and the police officer is Kone Adama.
The Liberian police chief told a news conference Monday at the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill that the released officers are genuine Ivorian security personnel, adding they were not found shooting on the Liberian side of the border.
"These security personnel will now be turned over to their Ivorian Ambassador as a sign of continuous security cooperation between Liberia and Ivory Coast", he added. Under the LNP custody, Director Massaquoi reported that Ivorian securities were properly taken care of since their arrest on the Liberian side of the border.
The Ivorian Ambassador Soro thanked the Government of Liberia for the security cooperation, assuring similar cooperation in line with the agreement signed between both governments. A delegate of diplomats and security officials accompanied the Ivorian Ambassador at the National Police Headquarter to receive the released officers.