Liberia: Man Busted for Impersonating as Government Official Allegedly Dupes Businessman
MONROVIA – In December last year, Robertson Momo was mistakenly called by a businessman operating a mining field in Bong County, thinking it was Assistant Minister of Mines at the Ministry of Mines and Energy Emmanuel T.T Swen. Robertson did not say he was not Emmanuel, he accepted the mistaken identify and crafted a plan to benefit from the businessman.
Days after the first phone conversation, Robertson called the businessman purporting to be Minister Emmanuel Swen, and requested for six hundred United States Dollars ($600.00USD) as Christmas gift.
In obedient to the request, the man sent the money through a point person on Carey Street in Central Monrovia and all went well.
On January 7, 2019, Robertson called again, time, he requested for one thousand United States Dollars ($1,000.000USD).
“Hello FM, hello sir, okay this is Minister Swen I am calling you from the Ministry, I need $1,000.00USD, my mother is not well and I want to urgently take her to the hospital”.
At this point, the Business man got confused because he and the Minister were in the same village in Bong County, negotiating a mining dispute along with the Chief Zanzan Karwor.
According to Minister Swen, he was immediately contacted by the businessman and they plan a setup to grasp the imposter.
The Assistant Mines Minister averred, “I was confused and totally out of words when I was told this information. I never requested money from any businessman, so this was a matter of major concern to my reputation and the name of my family”.
During the evening hours on January 7, 2019, the setup was successful and Robertson was arrested by the police and taken to the offices of the major crimes Unit of the Liberia National Police on Ashmun Street.
At the Police Station, Robertson confessed to the crime and suggested a means to repay the six hundred dollars he initial took.
“I want to apologize to the Minister and sincerely promise that I will not do this again. I know how this is injurious to the name and reputation of the Minister; it was only because of the difficult time”
Robertson said he was in the same political struggle with the Minister, but failed to state whether he was a member of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change.
“Minister we are in the same struggle, I want you forgive me so that we can work together”, Robertson pleaded with Assistant Minister Swen.
He was charged with fraud and impersonation by the Liberia National Police, and asked to restitute the US$600.00 dollars he took from the businessman. Meanwhile Minister Swen said his fear was that the doer was not somebody close to him and following his activities. Hi fear was allayed when he discovered that Robertson was far from the Ministry and those associated with his (Swen”) office.