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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Arms investigation stalled

-Suspect extradition in limbo

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh

Authorities at the Liberia National Police appeared to have paused investigations into the discoveries of high-grade military weapons discovered in crates in a 40ft container and a private residence in Brewerville barely three months ago.

The arms and ammunition were first discovered at the port in a shipment consigned to a lady before further discoveries were made at her home in Brewerville following a search and seizure operation.

The police subsequently identified the shipper as Ben Baker and the shipment was made from the United States, with Barbara Debra as the consignee.

Police Spokesman Moses Carter- told the New Dawn, extradition treaty has stalled the investigation and that the LNP is currently exploring means, through a diplomatic corporation to ensure suspect Benjamin Baker is extradited to face Justice.

Suspect Baker

Liberia and the United States signed an extradition treaty on November 1, 1937, in Monrovia covering a wide range of crimes. That treaty was ratified by the United States on August 30, 1939, and by Liberia on November 16, the same year.

The enforcement of the treaty does require some legal proceedings coupled with diplomatic cooperation.

“As of now, the case of Benjamin Baker has stalled the investigation and the Police are exploring other possibilities, diplomatic means to be exerted so that we can ensure “Mr. Bakers” account for his actions. But as a stand now, we are stalled. Benjamin Baker who shipped the arms to Liberia is still in America, but we are exploring means to have him extradited,” Carter said.

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The shipments were made of mainly assault rifles and were shipped over a one-year period, which means the shipper has been sending the consignment in batches, according to security sources.

Liberia, a fragile country heads to a highly contested poll in October this year, with many fearing violence may erupt. The cache of arms and ammunition amidst reports that the shipper has been sending the arms in batches only heightens such fear.

In a joint press conference Thursday, January 5, 2023, at the National Police Headquarters in Monrovia, the Liberia National Police announced the arrested of Ms. Barbara Debra, Ezekiel Tamba and Ms. Melvina M. Kpan.

Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue at the time explained that the suspects were arrested on the same day of the press conference at various locations in Monrovia.

He narrated that Ms. Barbara Debra was arrested at her Old Road residents, a suburb of Monrovia after Police received information and discovered her name and telephone number on the consignment of weapons as recipient.

IG Sudue further revealed at the time that the consignment was brought to Liberia by Mr. Boy Benjamin Baker, who resides in Taxes, United States of America, and works for American Airline.

According to the Police Chief, during a search and seizure warrant prayed for at the suspect’s home in Brewerville, outside Monrovia, the Police discovered additional military ammunition hidden in the ceiling of the house.

He says while the search operation was ongoing at the residence, Suspect Ezekiel Tamba was found hiding in the ceiling and was arrested. Suspect Tamba is currently in police custody, he said at the time.

“Our intelligence also led us to Barbara Debra, who lives on the Old Road. She is in contact with the guy, who is sending the container to Liberia. We have apprehended her. We have also arrested one Melvina M. Kpan, who is a broker for this company. From our investigation, we gathered information that led us to Brewerville, G4 Community where the suspect’s house is and also arrested Ezekiel Tamba”, IG Sudue says.

He further details that arms confiscated include Cremo 6.5, AR10, and Winchester 1894 model, among others that were said to be in police custody at the time.

However, Col. Sudue was quick to point out that some of the ammunition were missing because the Police did not discover the rifles that could match them, while investigations were ongoing.

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One Comment

  1. Its my uncle drug dealers friends’ guns. But the Police boss, Patrick Sudue, made so much noise about opposition people wanting to disturb the peace. But the police boss is all quiet now. No more demonstration; no more press conference. Police boss is my uncle houseboy. What a shame and disgrace. LNP da CDC mosquito police.

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