Police, families differ on missing men
The Liberia National Police (LNP) and the family members of the three young men who have been missing since mid – October are in disagreement on the status of the victims, with police contradicting the families’ claim that the victims have been transferred to Monrovia and being by their alleged kidnappers.
Police Inspector General Col. Patrick T. Sudue told a press conference in Monrovia Tuesday, 3 November that police retrieved one of the bodies from the water and it has been deposited at a funeral home.
St. Moses Funeral Parlor proprietor Mr. Moses Ahoussouhe stands accused of hiring victims Robert Blamo, Jr., 29, SiafaBoimah, 33 and Blama from Monrovia since Saturday, 15 October to travel to Bong Mines to do technical work for him at his diamond creek when all three of them went missing.
But a father of one of the three missing men, Mr. Robert Blamo, Sr. claimed on Monday, 2 November that after receiving information that their missing children were brought to Monrovia and held by their kidnapper, police, Justice Ministry and Internal Affairs authorities have allegedly declined to act on requests to secure the victims from the alleged kidnappers.
But responding to an inquiry by this paper in relation to the families’ claim, Col. Sudue says the families will be called upon to go and identify the particular person that has been found, adding that the police are working with all of the parties and have held a meeting with the family members.
“The Liberia National Police has nothing to hide. The case was brought to our attention, we immediately dispatched our forensic team from Monrovia including the commander from Bong County, commander from Margibi County who is very close to the proximity of that area,” he says.
Col. Sudue notes that when the police’s search didn’t yield any fruitful result, they in return put up a 25 – man team that comprised the Crimes Services Division (CSD) officers from the forensic investigators and patrol officers to go all out to search for these missing men along the river banks.
The men were alleged to have drowned in the St. Paul River.
According toCol. Sudue, the three persons who claimed to have been survivors from the canoe were arrested, but they have been released to their lawyer to avoid violating the law requiring the processing of suspects within 48 hours to send them to court.
“So not wanting to infringe on the right of these people, they were signed for by a lawyer while the investigation is still going on,” Col. Sudue explains.
He says police are still investigating the case, noting that when the search is completed, they will come back on the drawing table to conclude the case.
St. Moses Funeral Parlor proprietor Mr. Moses Ahoussouhe stands accused of hiring the men from Monrovia since Saturday, 15 October to travel to Bong Mines to do technical work for him at his diamond creek when all three of them went missing.
The canoe operator has been drawn into the matter due to reports that his canoe was used when the three men and others tried to cross the St. Paul River during which only the three men hired from Monrovia by St. Moses got drowned and their bodies cannot be found.
Families of the three missing men have threatened unspecified actions as they continue to demand their children’s living bodies from Moses Ahoussouhe.
By Winston W. Parley