Indian Businessmen Robbed of over US$80k, L$400k In Vai Town
MONROVIA – Armed robbers on Thursday made away with over US$80,000 and L$400,00 from Mukesh Business Center in Vai Town, outside Monrovia.
Report by Obediah Johnson, [email protected]
The business center is engaged into the wholesale of alcoholic beverages, merchandise and other basic commodities.
The incident occurred during the early afternoon hours of Thursday, July 8.
One of the Managers of the business center, Mr. Kamal Basandani, disclosed that the incident happened shortly after the climaxed of normal commercial activities for the day.
He spoke in an exclusive interview with FrontPageAfrica at his business center in Vai Town over the weekend.
He noted that the men, two of whom wore face masks tailed him and his brother, Yogesh Mulchandani, while climbing the stairs leading into their home.
The home of the victims where the ‘armed robbery’ took place is located just a stone throw away from the business center.
“I closed my store and I was going to my house across the road. I climbed on the stairs and my brother was in front me. Three people came from behind me; one of them held me from behind and say give me your bag”.
“He put the gun on my head and took the bag from me. He told my brother if you move again, I will shoot you. The other man with the big knife cut the bag rope and took it from my brother-and the man with the gun fired in the air two times”.
A cry for help
Though the incident occurred around 5:30PM, nobody was able to come to the rescue of the Indian nationals.
Some other businesses in the area were operating, while pedestrians and motorists reportedly took a glance of the incident, but were afraid to loss their lives due to the possession of a gun and other deadly weapons by the suspected robbers.
“After taking the two bags and firing in the air, I was shouting rogue, rogue; rogue, but nobody came to help us. And so, the men ran away from there. This is the first time for this to happen to me” Mr. Basandani stated.
He disclosed that two motorbikes were used by the suspected armed robbers to carry on their mission, but one of the motorbikes was left behind by them.
He indicated that the abandoned motorcycle has been turned over to the Liberia National Police (LNP).
“He put the gun on my head and took the bag from me. He told my brother if you moved again, I will shoot you. The other man with the big knife cut the bag rope and took it from my brother and the man with the gun fired in the air two times”.Mr. Kamal Basandani, A Manager at Mukesh Business Center
Doing business in fear
The latest broad day light robbery of the two Indian nationals has the propensity of scaring away investors from the country.
Already, Liberia is experiencing ‘investment drought’ as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, increase in the wave of lawlessness in the country, and the unfriendly business environment created by government through the creation of bureaucracies and bottlenecks.
Mr. Basandani maintained that fear has gripped him and several others as a result of the latest incident.
“Right now, I am scare to make business here because; I was even going to lose my life yesterday”.
“With something like this, how can you make business? You can’t make business like this. I was going to lose my life for just money”.
The Indian businessman, however, urged government to provide adequate security for foreign business owners and investors in Liberia.
Police in Monrovia are said to be investigating the incident.
Statements were extracted from the managers of Mukesh Business Center over the week end, while one of the motorcycles allegedly used by the suspected armed robbers has been impounded.