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IG Coleman counters blackmail

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Liberia’s Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman says some unknown blackmailers are requesting him to pay ransom to stop them from further publishing on social media bunch of nude photographs copied from the internet and cropped to a picture he took at a party sometime in 2012.

Col. Coleman says for days now he has been receiving calls via private numbers from people claiming to have videos and naked pictures of him, requesting that he pays them ransom or that they go public. The Police Chief told journalists on Monday, 4 September that he will not bow to any such blackmail by paying ransom, challenging the culprits to go ahead and publish whatever they claim to have.

Col. Coleman says he cannot say right now where this blackmail is coming from, even though he chooses not to rule out political implications given that everybody has got their own hidden agenda.

“I cannot say at this point where this is coming from, but who knows … whether there could be political impli-cations? There could be. Everybody has got their own hidden agenda. But mine concern is the smooth transi-tion,” he says.

The police chief says his team of leaders at the Liberia National Police (LNP) has expressed overwhelming sup-port and commitment to continue to fight against such attack, assuring that they will not be distracted from doing their good work to keep the country on track.

Beyond blackmailing him as an individual, Col. Coleman observes that the act is meant to distract “us” of what is being done to keep the peace right now, citing the safety and security of the nation, management of the UNMIL transition and the upcoming October elections.

He supports suggestion that this blackmail may be an attempt to tarnish his reputation at a time debate is being advanced to get the Legislature pass an Act that would grant the police chief and his deputies tenured offices for autonomous operation of the force.

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He suggests that the blackmailers might be agitated by the fact that the new police administration might get more years to work rather than being replaced immediately after one year of service.

While dismissing the nude pictures cropped to his photo as false, Col. Coleman however, apologizes to Liberi-ans and his family for such scandals being brought to his name, simply because he heads the LNP.

He says those pictures have got absolutely no bearing whatsoever on him, adding that they are not his photo-graphs in any shape or form. “They’re bunch of blackmailers and extortionists trying to bring me in a position where I can be used to com-promise the enforcement of law and the maintenance of the peace and tranquility of this nation,” Col. Coleman says.

The Liberian police chief says he will not bow to blackmail and pay any ransom, assuring the public that every-thing is being done to bring the perpetrators to book. He discloses that IT personnel are working around the clock to track the culprits, and that their analysis so far is that the pictures are false and are from the internet.

Already, he reports that all the voices of those demanding ransom from him are Liberians, noting that as soon as they get to the source of the pictures, the public will be informed.

By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Othello B. Garblah

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