LIBERIA: In Ganta, LNP Nabs 3 Men for Impersonating As Health Ministry Employees

Arrested person with handcuffs (Credit Photo: Creative Market)

 (LINA) – Three men have been arrested, investigated and forwarded to the Gompa Magisterial Court for prosecution, an LNP release has said.

The three, Edwin Massaley, 51; Dokie S. Johnson, 52 and Chester D. Kollie, 52, were arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police assigned in Ganta, Nimba County for impersonating as employees of the Ministry of Health and using fake ID Cards to extort money from owners of pharmacies in Bong and Nimba counties.

Some of the victims, who spoke to journalists in Ganta, stated that the men drove to their pharmacies and displayed valid MoH ID cards, saying they (the impersonators) were employees of the Health Ministry sent to carry out inspection of all pharmacies operating within the country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to ascertain and ensure that owners of pharmacies are in full compliance of all health protocols set up by the National Public Health Institute and the Ministry of Health.

 “While sitting in my pharmacy located around the LPMC community, I saw a Jeep coming straight towards me. When the car stopped, four men got down and entered. They introduced themselves to me as employees of the Ministry of Health and I was convinced because they displayed ID cards belonging to the Ministry of Health and the Liberia Revenue Authority.

“Three of the men had MoH ID cards while the other one had LRA ID Card and they told me that they were sent by the ministry to inspect drugstores and pharmacies across Liberia,” Ellen Cooper, one of the victims, explained her ordeal to journalists.

Following their inspection, according to Madam Cooper, the men asked her to give them US$1,500, but said she told them that she could not afford such an amount at that moment.

She, however, gave them L$15,000 and they left without stating why they collected the money from her.

The trio was charged with Theft by Deception, Criminal Conspiracy and Impersonation.

When contacted to speak on the matter, authorities of the Pharmacy Board of Liberia, Nimba County branch, said they lack the power to speak to the media, pointing out that they remain engaged with the LNP and other actors of the justice sector to ensure that the three men are dealt with in accordance with the law.

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