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‘419’ Group Refunds Victims Money

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A dubious group calling itself Liberian Massacre Survivors Association or LIMASA has partly begun restituting money to several victimized Liberians after being dragged before the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

Speaking with reporters outside the City Court on Friday, May 3, 2013, several Liberians who had turnout for court decision said the lawyer representing LIMASA Director Peterson K. Sonya, SDA United by the World Assistant Pastor Patrick G.M. Mcgail, and Josiah Belleh, among others, only admitted to being indebted to 60 persons opposed to the alleged 300 persons claimed by the complainants.

As a result, the defendants have committed themselves to restituting US$3,000 to the 60 persons whom they acknowledged they were indebted to, instead of US$30,000.00 plus L$400,000.00 charge brought against them by the complaining party. But the complainants insist they were more than 60, saying LIMASA recruited members in other counties, besides Montserrado County.

Already, the victims, including Darius Kiazolu, Gladys Kiazolu and others said on Thursday April 25, 2013 that LIMASA made some payment through the City Court following which on Thursday, May 2, 2013, the complainants received L$26,000.00 plus US$200.00.

They also said on Friday, May 3, 2013, LIMASA additionally submitted the equivalent of US$1,000.00 to the Monrovia City Court. The complainants had told this paper that last year, LIMASA collected money from them for two years trip to the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and some parts of Africa.

They said besides daily dues and transportation to their Duport Road SDA Church meeting ground, those targeting the US, UK, and Canada trips paid higher amounts compared to those wishing to travel to African countries, with collections put at US$300; $250; $65 and $35, respectively, among others.

They accused LIMASA leadership, including Peterson K. Sonya, Pastor Patrick G.M. Mcgail, Josiah Belleh and others, of persuading them that the trip was scheduled for the second week in January 2013.

Some members reportedly sold their belongings, while tenants gave out their rooms to make the trip, only to realize that LIMASA had no connection with any foreign embassy here.

The complainants said they became skeptical about the legitimacy of LIMASA when their photos collected from them by the organization to be submitted to the US Embassy for documentation were discovered with one of the leaders, while the alleged contact number for the embassy actually belonged to the same individual.

Meanwhile, the victims say they want the matter addressed by a criminal court, with arguments that the amount in question was beyond the jurisdiction of the City Court.

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