From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, City Council Police Bites Man for Tax
By Aruna Turay
Sep 17, 2010, 17:30

The attitude of some personnel of the Freetown City Council Municipal Police have started worrying residents of the Municipality given that force is now not enough as a means to collect local tax revenue, but have resorted to beating and biting their targets in apparent manner of vampires and zombies.

This was apparent on Wednesday 15th September 2010 about mid-day when about seven of the FCC police personnel in demanding a tax receipt from one Bangalie Kargbo was pounced on, beaten and was also bitten by the officers.

According to Bangalie Kargbo who lives along Fisher Street in Freetown he was standing at the entrance of his Internet Caf discussing some issues with few of his friends when three City Council police officers walked towards him and requested him to show his local tax receipt. He said he searched himself for it and later recalled that he has forgotten it at home.


Victim of circumstance

I then pleaded with them to allow me contact someone at my house not far from my place of business to bring it for me but they refused, Bangalie explained, adding that the officers insisted on him producing the receipt or he buys a new one. I told them I will not buy another one since I have one already, stressing to them to give me time since they were conducting raid in the area to call somebody at home to bring my tax receipt.


He went on that at that point, the three officers who were querying him called their colleagues and that upon their arrival, one of them alleged that he has accused them of corruption and that because of that he was not prepared to pay his local tax.


I did not say anything to them other than to plead with them to give time to prove myself whether I actually have a local tax receipt or not, Bangalie stated. He went on that it was during this explanation that the officers started pushing him and subsequently began punching him all over his body, and in an attempt to free from them also applied defensive tactics which caused two of the guys to end up biting him after he had sustained injuries from their punches.

I did not only suffer physically at their hands, I also lost money amounting to Le 200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Leones), a necklace and a mobile phone, he said.

However, the Administrative Officer for the Metropolitan Police, Inspector Bangura K. refused to comment on the issue when confronted with it by this reporter, but was quick to refute the allegation levied against the said officers whose identities could not be verified by this reporter.

Our men are professionals and cannot behave in any such manner if they are not provoked to the extent of threatening their safety, he said.


Meanwhile, Bangalie says he has reported the matter with the police.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.