Mass Arrest, Intimidation At Salala Rubber Corporation Following Series of Murders
Margibi County – An independent investigation has gathered that officers of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Liberia National Police backed by some security guards at Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC) have allegedly raided several towns and villages near SRC, arresting and detaining many persons.
The armed Police officers based in Margibi County arrested and detained the locals including women and men at Kakata Police Station in Margibi County.
Police spokesman, Sam Collins is apparently not aware of the mass arrest of the villagers, as he pleaded with our reporter to allow him contact the Margibi Police Detachment, but failed to call back up to press time.
However, a police officer claiming to be commander of Margibi County Detachment only identified as Johnson said his men were acting on a search and seizure warrant, but didn’t say which court issued the purported warrant.
The Police’s action, according to some villagers is in retaliation to a mask dancer’s protest against series of killings at SRC ‘Camp 8’ and Bonolon Town.
A mask dancer reportedly protested the mysterious killings of two of the company’s workers.
Within less than a week, a security guard and a fire service man working for SRC were killed in a ritualistic style of murder. The Victims were also residents of the community.
According to unimpeachable sources at the plantation, William Siafa, a security guard working for a firm hired by SRC and owned by one Joe Cooper went missing on January 8, 2018 and was discovered dead on January 16, 2018, with several body parts extracted.
He was also allegedly beheaded by his killers, several sources said in separate interviews.
William was assigned at ‘Camp 8’, on the night he vanished. ‘Camp 8’, is a residential area for SRC Plantation’s supervisors.
SRC Fire Service Personnel, Smith George was also found dead near the plantation.
Sources quoted his wife not named, as saying that a friend visited him at odd hours twice the night he went missing.
“During the second visit Smith went out with the friend, but he never returned that night,” our sources said via phone.
Smith’s remains was discovered the following morning near the plantation to the disbelief of community members, who think the two killings at the plantation has similar motives and perpetrators.
Smith’s friend was allegedly arrested by the police and later released, but his whereabouts is unknown.
Other sources hinted that Smith might have been allegedly killed by SRC guards who are usually on alert for rubber thieves.
The mysterious killings at the plantation irritated a traditional mask dancer to stage a protested at ‘Camp 8’, our sources indicated and noted that some company’s properties might have been destroyed in the process.
Our sources were not clear on what was destroyed, but a security staff with the company promised to inform management on our inquiries, but never got back to us.
“And so a contingent of armed police officers acting on SRC’s mandates have arrested and flogged many villagers here,” our sources disclosed.
According to them, hundreds of terrified people have sought refuge in nearby bushes for fear of being mishandled by the police who are indiscriminately arresting and flogging people in reprisal to the mask dancer’s alleged action.
They named communities raided by the police as Martin Village, David Siafa, James Waylee Village, Hawa Boudong Village and Qua-ta Village in Kpatolee Clan, Lower Bong County.
Some of those arrested includes Abel Binda, Papa Kollie, Anthony Binda and Aaron Gbah.
“The entire clan is now a ghost town. People have fled these areas and they are living in fear,” one of our sources said.
Our sources disclosed that several structures were burst opened by the police and SRC guards.
They didn’t say whether the police and the SRC guards took away personal properties, as most of the villages have been abandoned.
Some of the villages who spoke to our correspondent are calling on President George Weah to intervene and secure the arrest of all of those who have been detained at the Kakata Police Station.
They are also pleading with President Weah to launch immediate investigation into the police alleged action and the mysterious killings of their citizens at SRC.
Report by Alloycious David, FPA Contributor