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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Wednesday 26 May 2004

LIBERIA: Police identify four suspects linked to US civilian killing

MONROVIA, 26 May 2004 (IRIN) - Liberia's police said on Wednesday they had identified four suspects linked to the stabbing to death of an American civilian two days ago, adding that a four thousand dollar bounty has been offered for information leading to their arrest and prosecution.

Liberian police chief Clarence Massaquoi told reporters that four men, all in their twenties, were wanted by police in connection with the killing of John Auffery in his room at the Mamba Point Hotel in the early hours of Monday morning.

He said that a bounty had been offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the men.

"A cash price US$ 1,000 from the UN Secretary General Special Representative, Jacques Paul Klein, and US$ 3,000 have been offered by the Liberian government through Chairman Gyude Bryant to anyone who will provide information leading to the successful arrest and prosecution of the alleged suspects," the police chief said.

The suspects were named as Emmanuel Mulbah alias "Baltimore" aged 23 who was described as the ringleader, along with three other suspects: Charles Thomas, 27, Jeff Williams, 20 and Mascara Kenneh also thought to be in his twenties.

Massaquoi described the men as "very dangerous". Privately, a police official told IRIN that all four of the men were well known to police as active armed robbers.

Auffery, the dead man, had been working with the US Department of Defence, and formed part of a US 34-member Military Assessment team currently visiting war-ravaged Liberia to restructure the new Liberian army.

He was killed in the Mamba Point Hotel located in the diplomatic enclave of the city. The hotel operated throughout the Liberian civil war, when foreign personnel favoured it for its proximity to the US embassy.

Liberian police is working with the US diplomats to search for the suspects, who, according to Massaquoi, also robbed an American female, Stacy Razim, working with a US-based logistics company, in her Mamba Point Hotel room while she was asleep.

He reported that that time the intruders made away with US$ 8,000 jewellery, a cell phone and other items valued at US$ 5,700.

"As an institution of government which has the statutory mandate to protect lives, limbs and properties, we can not sit supinely and allow people to be murdered in cold blood by bandits, without taking the necessary action to curtail such devilish acts," said Massaquoi.


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