Liberia: Police, Immigration Officers in Fist Fight Over Control of Illegal Border Entry Point
Ganta, Nimba County – A fistfight is said to have taken place between officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Liberia Immigration Services (LIS) over the control of an illegal entry point into the country.
Report by Franklin Doloquee, Contributor
Residents of Ganta have accused the LIS for allowing travelers from outside Liberia to still be entering and leaving the country through various bypasses that are allegedly being operated by them. The internationally recognized borders are now officially closed between both Liberia and Guinea.
FrontPageAfrica has been told that since the governments of Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast closed borders with each other due to the spread of the deadly COVID-19, people have continued to enter and leave Liberia daily.
These travelers are using unauthorized border entry and departure posts.
The borders are now controlled by the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS).
According to reports, those illegal entry points, which are now being used by these travelers, are being manned by LIS personnel and Custom officers. The personnel of these entities, have been accused of allegedly collecting bribe money from those travelers before they are allowed to come in and leave the country.
A Ganta Resident’s Narration
Speaking to FrontPageAfrica, a resident of Guinea Road Community in Ganta and forex exchanger at the border, Nathan Beibli, said he had been attacked and wounded in the eye by one Ansu Donzo, who he (Beibli) alleged entered Liberia from Guinea through one of the illegal entry points.
According to Beibli, he saw Donzo with goods a few feet inside Liberia, away from border, and questioned him how he had entered the country when the border is officially closed.
“He told me that he had used the bypass and paid bribe money to the custom and Immigration officers at the border and they allowed him to enter. So I told him that he was lying and that I was going to take him back to the border. We got into an argument and in the process, he wounded me,” Beibli said pointing to the wound on his eye, which was swollen and red.
Illegal entry has also left its marks on some state security personnel.
Recently, several police officers headed by Larmie Mendin got wounded at one of the bypasses controlled by the LIS, the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, National Security Agency [NSA] and Custom.
According to a police source in Ganta, some boys in Gbuyee town, which has one of the leading bypasses, were illegally operating that illegal entry point allowing people to enter and leave the country through that point. Gbuyee is few miles from Ganta City, where the official and international entry point is located between Guinea and Liberia.
This police source explained that personnel from LIS had gone there to remove the boys and in the process got attacked with single barrels and machetes. They, however, managed to arrest some of boys and took away some of their guns and other weapons, brought and handed them over to the police in Ganta.
The Gbuyee boys arrested included Nya Bamie, Preston Diawon, Nya Two Dolo Robertson Menpeain, among others.
Prior to the arrest of those boys, over 15 foreigners and some Liberians had been picked up in the town for illegally entering Liberia. Among them were Nigerians, Sierra Leoneans and Liberians.
Speaking further, our police source further stated that, notwithstanding, some of the town’s boys resumed their operations again at that point and this time, they were joined by some joint security personnel, who decided to provide cover for them to carry out their illegal act.
“So, we got the tipoff that this was happening and we decided to go patrol the area. When we got there, we booked them carrying out their illegal deeds,” he narrated.
Eyewitnesses in Gbuyee told FrontPageAfrica that two LIS officers, who are arms bearers because they do border patrols — Winston Isaac and Chris Davis — got in firearm positions for the police and the melee that followed between the security personnel led to some police officers being wounded as they had opted to forcibly remove their colleagues from that Gbuyee border post.
FrontPageAfrica has been told that since the official closure of main points of entry young men in towns along the borders, have resulted into making money by allowing illegal entries and departures into and out of Liberia.