Police Nab Two Men for Attempted Human Trafficking

KAKATA, Margibi – Police in Margibi have charged and forwarded to the Kakata City Court, two elderly men, for criminal attempts to commit human trafficking.

The suspects, identified as Harris Martin, believed to be in his early 70’s, along with his accomplice John Flomo, 55, were arrested on Thursday, August 24, 2017, after Rep. Stephen Kafi of Margibi’s third district filed a complaint against the two men.

Kafi alleges that while he was seated at his residence during the afternoon hours on Flag Day, Martin approached him and requested a private conversation.

Kafi further revealed that Martin said he had a 19-year-old woman to sell for ritualistic purposes in order to improve Kafi’s chances of being reelected.

The lawmaker said he immediately phoned Margibi’s police superintendent and reported the matter.

Before the police arrived, Martin had fled the scene, leaving behind his accomplice Flomo, a resident of Firestone’s Division 22, who was arrested.

Martin was, however, arrested two days later, following a manhunt throughout the county.

Flomo told police investigators he works with Firestone as a tapper but had come to Kakata to see a sick relative when he bumped into his long-time friend who asked him to accompany him to see the lawmaker.

Flomo further told the police that upon reaching the lawmaker’s house, Martin told him to wait by the car in front of the house. Flomo said he was not aware of the contents of Martin’s conversation with the lawmaker.

After undergoing preliminary police probe, the pair was charged with criminal attempt to commit human trafficking.

The two men have been remanded at the Kakata Central Prison and they are awaiting trial at the 13th Judicial Court as the case is above the jurisdiction of the Magisterial Court. The men pleaded guilty, blaming their allegation to being fooled by the “devil.”

Meanwhile, Kafi told The Bush Chicken that family members of the men are pleading with him to forgive them, adding that the men were sent by others to tarnish Kafi’s reputation.

“I’m willing to free them,” Kafi said. “But they have to tell the public who sent them because I believe it was masterminded by someone.”

Featured photo by Ben

Emmanuel Degleh

Emmanuel has over a decade of experience working as a community radio broadcaster. He is the Margibi correspondent for the Liberia Broadcasting System and currently the acting president of the Margibi Journalist Association. Emmanuel is also a member of the Press Union of Liberia and a 2016 Internews Health Journalism Fellow.

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