8 January 2013

Liberia: 'Mafia Police' Transferred

The Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Unit of the Liberia National Police Amos Soumie and an accomplice, Cpl. Collins Syvenius has been transferred to Grand Bassa County on armed robbery charge for prosecution.

Police Spokesman Sam Collins told the New Dawn Monday that the suspects were transferred on Saturday, January 5, 2012. Crime investigators charged suspects Amos Soumie and Collins Syvenius 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.

During a news conference on Friday, Police Director Chris Massaquoi told journalists 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

On August 29, 2012, Director Massaquoi said officers Soumie and Syvenius facilitated the escape of some armed robbers by giving them lift in 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 did not retrieve any money from the criminals, saying investigation was still ongoing. In the same vein, 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, was 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 (Known 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.

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