The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: 'Mafia Police' Hooked

Crime investigators have charged the Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Unit of the Liberia National Police Amos Soumie and an accomplice, Cpl. Collins Syvenius, with armed robbery for allegedly facilitating an armed robbery scheme against the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) in August 2012, making away with US$150,000.

On Friday, January 4, 2013, Police Director Chris Massaquoi told the media here that the two officers were detained at the "LNP Headquarters" in Monrovia, waiting to be transferred to Grand Bassa County for prosecution.

"You know in any organization there are bad apples among the good apples; and there are mafias among the police. But the police under my watch, whatever the case, will make sure to deal with those engaging in such acts...", said Director Massaquoi

He said on August 29, 2012, officers Soumie and Syvenius facilitated the escape of some armed robbers by giving them lift with the Police Anti-Robbery Vehicle just after the suspects attacked and fired several shots at the driver and occupants, who boarded the LBDI van that was conveying US$150,000.00 to its sub-branches in Grand Bassa County.

But Director Massaquoi said investigators have retrieved "zero dollars" from the criminals so far, meaning none of the money has been retrieved, but said investigation was still ongoing.

Already, the police chief said one of the suspected armed robbers Charles "Charlie Angel" Gray, who absconded the scene after the incident occurred along the Walker's Town Buchanan Highway, has been arrested, in addition to six others that were previously arrested and sent to court in Grand Bassa.

"According to police preliminary investigation conducted, it was established that suspect Charles Gray was one of those who boarded the LBDI van that was conveying the US$150,000.00...", added Director Massaquoi.

Following the armed robbery attack, he said the suspects claimed that officers Soumie (known as R4) and Syvenius (Knowns as "419") facilitated their escape from the crime scene by giving them lift in the police anti-robbery vehicle, thereby penetrating "all of the police road blocks" that were set up on the highway in anticipation of arresting them.

The police chief additionally told the media that two of the armed robbery suspects connected to the LBDI robbery incident, Junior Roberts and James Sackie were arrested with two single barrel pistols in Gatna, Nimba County on New Year's Eve. He said the suspects are in police custody, undergoing investigation.

Notwithstanding, the police boss announced a decrease in the crime rate in Monrovia and its environs, calling on the public to help the police fight crimes in the society.

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