By Joseph Milton Lebbie
The Local Unit Commander of the Bo-East Police Station, Superintendent Sheku Sankoh, has revealed that a Lebanese diamond magnate, Samir Sal aka Amawoleh, conspired with some Yamandu Chiefdom elders who stole from the Community a UNICEF-donated water pumping generator and sold it to him at Fifteen Million Leones, an act which, the LUC agreed, makes the Lebanese an accomplice to the theft.
The LUC made the revelation during a press briefing last week at the Bo-West Police while he was giving an update of crime in his division.
The Police Chief recalled that some time ago, Mr. Sal bought the same generator at 25 million Leones and was retrieved from him by the Police, noting that this is the second time Mr. Sal is buying the generator and the second time the Police are recovering it from him.
Superintendent Sankoh said just after knowing that Sal has again bought the stolen generator, he invited him at the Bo-East Police and detained him but later released him on bail while the investigation is in progress.
The Southern Region Chairman of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Richard Lahai noted that the stolen generator was knowingly bought by Mr. Sal and, therefore, he is guilty of conspiracy to steal community asset. He suggested that Mr. Sal should suffer the same punishment as those who stole the generator from the community.
When contacted, Mr. Sal admitted that he had once bought the generator from one Francis Kpulun at Le25 million but that the Police later took away the machine back to the community when it came out that it was not the property of Mr. Kpulun. “Till this day, Mr. Kpulun has never refunded by money,” Sal cried foul.
He further stated that he was tempted to buy the generator the second time because this time round, it was brought to him by some chiefdom elders, so, he was convinced it was a genuine deal and he wanted to help the Yamandu Community which he described as the center of his mining operations.