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Soldiers face armed robbery probe

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By Lincoln G. Peters

Three officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) have been arrested and are undergoing a police investigation for alleged armed robbery based on claims by some young people engaged in night-time community watch team activities in the Old Road Community.

Police Spokesman Moses Carter told this paper via mobile phone Thursday evening, 9 September 2021 that the accused AFL Officers were driving through Old Road around Kailondo on Wednesday night, 8 September when they came across a checkpoint that was set up there by young people in the community in the name of a watch team.

He said the young people started running when they saw the officers who were dressed in military uniforms getting down from their vehicle.

“I mean it was just blown out of proportion because the truth is, we have not established the nature of armed robbery. Yes, we haven’t,” Mr. Carter told this paper via mobile phone.

According to Carter, the officers chased the watch team members, thinking that they were criminals, but they did not arrest any of them.

“So they came back and got in their car and drove off. But then, these young people, accordingly, had the information on one of the stations concerning the program called “Kapao” and they said these guys were armed robbers,” said Carter.

He noted that after the citizens’ alarm against the AFL Officers, the Liberia National Police (LNP) decided to deploy their officers in the street and they were able to intercept the AFL Officers around the Duport Road market.

However, Carter said the AFL officers were not seen with any lethal weapon, adding that the police are investigating the claim of armed robbery made by the young people.

Earlier during an impromptu press conference at the police headquarters in Monrovia, Mr. Carter said the police and the investigative arm of the military were jointly investigating the three AFL Officers based on the claim made by some private citizens who had accused the officers of armed robbery. Mr. Carter said the joint investigation is intended to establish a probable cause.

“According to the army personnel, they didn’t find the individuals who set up the check point when they chased [them], and so they decided to forget about them and continue their journey and went around the Duport Road area where they were intercepted by officials of the LNP,” Carter said.

Following the arrest of the AFL Officers by the LNP, Carter said they were taken to Zone Five Police Station in Paynesville where they slept before being subsequently transferred to the LNP Headquarters for joint investigation.

“The investigation by the LNP and the AFL police is to establish facts surrounding the claim of the alleged armed robbery hanging [over] these professional men,” Carter explained.

“However, we are urging the public to remain very calm as we conduct the investigation and we will make sure that in the soonest possible time to get back to the public with the facts,” Carter continued.

He pleaded with the public to do away with sentiment, adding that their work is outside of sentiment. Meanwhile, Carter disclosed that police are investigating some complaints by some individuals that they were harassed and their phones were allegedly taken away by the three AFL Officers.

“If these officials are found guilty of these crimes that they are alleged of, I can assure you the public that they will be made to face the full weight of the law as we have done in several other cases across the country,” Carter assured.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/afl-dismisses-report-on-lrd200-000/

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