Liberia: Ambassador Linked to Human Trafficker?

12 September 2019

A 28 - year - old Liberian commercial motorcyclist from Bong County, Mr. Sackie B. Dennis has narrated his sad experience with suspect Phoebe Flahn, a lady he claims had trafficked him to Senegal, duped him of US$1,025, before cajoling into selling his motorbike and leaving him stranded in Dakar.

Victim Dennis told an interview in Monrovia Wednesday, 11 September that based on his explanation over how Phoebe led him to Senegal for a trip to Europe, a National Security Agency (NSA) agent at the Liberian Embassy allegedly arrested the suspect for human trafficking and extortion under false pretense.

Following suspect Phoebe's arrest, victim Dennis explains that a Liberian Ambassador in the Embassy allegedly announced that she was putting the accused under house arrest until the victim's US$1,025 was paid.But Mr. Dennis says he was astonished how the suspect fled from the Liberian Ambassador's fully secured residence without his money being paid.

This paper has contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in Monrovia concerning the situation at the Liberian Embassy in Senegal as alleged by Dennis, but the Assistant Minister for Public Affairs Mr. Sylvester Pewee says he got no information on that.

"I have no information on that whatsoever. Nothing I can't speak to that information. I can't speak nothing to that," Pewee said on Wednesday via mobile.However, Dennis has told an interview that he has come to Monrovia to seek authorities' help in looking into his problem.

According to Dennis, it all started in Gbarnga in June this year when one of his customers, one Catherine Kennedy called him and requested him to transport her friend Phoebe Flahn to Guinea to see herbalist.

Dennis narrates that since Phoebe could not state specifically where in Guinea the herbalist was located, he only collected US$10.00 plus LD$100.00 to buy gas.According to Dennis, they agreed that he would charge her after making the journey since both of them did not know the distance.

"Actually we got a motorcyclist that knew where we were going because he said he knew the herbalist," he explains.When they arrived in Guinea, Dennis says Phoebe then disclosed to him that she did not want to return to Liberia because there were people allegedly jealous of her in her office in Monrovia.

Through their discussion, Dennis says Phoebe suggested that he travelled with her to Europe because he is humble, but also requested him to provide some money to facilitate his trip with her.

Despite informing her that he had no money, Dennis continues that the lady convinced him, leading him to call his brother - in - law Kamara from Gbatala to request financial assistance.According to him, Phoebe took the phone, convinced Kamara that she and the victim were at an airport on their way to Europe.Following that, Dennis explains that his in - law Kamara sent him US$1,025 allegedly through Phoebe's name.

Besides this amount, Dennis says he and the lady sold his motorcycle for US$550.00, following which they entered Senegal through the border.

Finally, he says they slept in a hotel in Dakar, Senegal, before Phoebe took him to the Liberian Embassy the next morning, presenting him as her nephew to Embassy officials.

At the Embassy, Dennis says Phoebe requested one counsellor named Philip Johnson to permit him (the victim) to stay in the Embassy for two days while she went for money in The Gambia to process their documents.

"But in my thinking now, I was beginning to worry because of the money that she had collected from me, and then I was so stranded so I began to explain the situation to Philip Johnson's wife Viola," Dennis explains.Upon explaining to Viola, he says she declared Phoebe a criminal and immediately called her husband Mr. Johnson so that they could find the accused.

He further explained that an NSA agent only called Mr. Gardner was also contacted and they all drove to the Ambassador's house where Phoebe had allegedly gone to sleep that night."When we went, we met the Ambassador and the lady sitting, witnessing show in the living room," he says.

According to Dennis, Mr. Gardner arrested Phoebe for human trafficking and extorting money under false pretense.Following investigation into the matter, Dennis says Phoebe allegedly wrote a promissory note, committing herself to pay US$1,025.Unfortunately when he went to collect the money as promised, Dennis alleges that he was told that Phoebe had allegedly escaped from the Ambassador's residence, and that he did not get his money."I was stranded in Senegal," he says, adding his spouse had to give his land deed as guarantee to borrow US$200.00 to facilitate his return to Liberia.By Winston W. Parley

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