Liberia: Woman on Trial for Trafficking and ‘Attempts’ to Sell another Woman and Daughter

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Monrovia – Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice, has resumed the trial of Hawa Bangura, who is charged for allegedly attempting to sell another woman and daughter in the Banjor Community on the outskirts of Monrovia.

Report by Kennedy L. Yangian [email protected]

Defendant Bangura, now charged with trafficking, is identified as a Sierra Leonean. She was indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County during the February 2018 Term of Court for alleged trafficking of Famata Kanu, 37, and her daughter Kadiatu Kromah, 4.

The court indictment had indicated that both the defendant and would be victims, were residing in Sierra Leone when Defendant Bangura persuaded Famata to come to Liberia to buy goods.

The indictment further revealed that when they arrived in Liberia, the defendant decided to sell the two victims but the plan was uncovered and reported to the Banjor Community leader Molley Passewe on November 30, 2017, who later turned her over to the police.

During the trial of Defendant Bangura on Tuesday, January 7, Chief Prosecutor, Assistant Justice Minister Wesseh Anthony Wesseh put on the witness stand five of the prosecution’s nine witnesses, including Lahai Kamara.

Kamara is said to have reported the sale of the woman and her daughter to the Banjor Community Chairman and subsequently to the police leading to the arrest of Defendant Bangura.

Kamara, the prosecution’s fourth witness, told the court that as a motorcyclist plying in the Banjor Community on November 29, he picked up Defendant Bangura from Banjor Turning Point to the Rock Creek and while on their way she asked him whether they can sell people in the country and he replied that he has not seen that yet.

Kamara continued that on another occasion while driving across the Banjor Community, she recognized him and stopped him and while on her way back home on the motorbike she told him that she got two persons to sell.

According to Kamara, he reported the news about the plan of the woman to his brother, who asked that they find the lady’s home.

He stated that when they found her, she introduced him to the two victims as her boyfriend in Liberia. 

According to him, after the interaction with her, he and his brother reported the matter to the community chairman, who decided to invite the defendant to his home.

“After we entered the chairman’s home, she decided to confirm the price and that the defendant told the chairman that the price for her business was US$1,500 and that she wanted her full amount of US$3,000 for the two persons. But he told her that he could gave her US$1,500 and showed her time to she would get her balance US$1,500,” Kamara narrated.

Kamara further stated that the chairman later instructed her to go and bring the two victims to his house. He further stated that when she left, he called in the police and when she came back with the two women, she was arrested.

Witness Kamara’s testimony was followed by police officer Tugbeh Nyonkon, who also stated that Defendant Bangura admitted before a Sierra Leonean Embassy Official (not named) during investigation that she brought the two victims in the country to allegedly sell them. The case was ordered adjourned by Judge Roosevelt Willie for Wednesday, January 8, when Chief Prosecutor Assistant Justice Minister Wesseh A. Wesseh requested for time to put on the witness stand his next witnesses.

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