LIBERIA: Two Under Probe For Alleged COVID-19 Food Theft

Liberia Minister of Commerce & Industry, Prof Wilson K. Tarpeh

Two people have been arrested and turned over to the Liberia National Police for investigation for their alleged involvement in dubiously acquiring food ration tickets during the Liberian Government’s ongoing COVID-19 Household Food distribution in the country.

The two individuals, according to press release from the Ministry of Commerce, have been identified as Eric Denny and   32-yearold Thomas Wehyen.

Eric Denny was reportedly caught in the dubious act on August 11, 2020, at about 2:00 PM, on the campus of the United Methodist University on Ashmun Street, where residents of the Front Street Community, particularly Block-A, were been served during the COHFSP food distribution.

According to preliminary investigation conducted by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), who were at the distribution site to ensure security, Mr. Denny arrived on the scene and reportedly presented a food ration ticket to be served.

However, the ticket verification team at the center informed the Police that Mr. Denny was not the proper  owner of the ticket, a situation that prompted  the food distribution team  turning him  over to the  LNP officers there ( United Methodist University campus) for probe after   intercepting the ticket.

While undergoing preliminary inquiry, the Police allegedly uncovered another ticket with Mr. Denny, thereby sparking increasing concerns and the need for further questioning.

Mr. Denny is said to have told the Police that indeed he was not the legitimate owner of the tickets and allegedly admitted that he purchased the tickets from Mr. Amos L. Johnson, who works with the Christian Humanitarian Services (CHS).

CHS is   one of the partnering NGos contracted by the World Food Program (WFP), to undertake the distribution of food ration tickets in the ongoing COVID-19 Household Food Support Program (COHFSP) in Liberia, in the wake of the current health crisis.

For his part, 32-yearold  Thomas Wehyen, who is said to be a resident of West Point Township was reportedly arrested with ten (10) bags of rice, one (1) bag of

beans and four (4) gallons of oil.

Mr. Wehyen was turned over to the Crime Services Unit of the Zone Two Base Police Sub Station near the Gabriel Tucker Bridge on Johnson Street.

The two men are expected to be formally processed for court by the Liberia National Police at the end of a full inquiry into the matter.

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