Sierra Leone Telegraph: 08 July 2021:
Security sources in Freetown have told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that there is strong suspicion the Korean businessman – Mr Kim Sung Nyeon whose body was found in his house a week ago had been murdered, and a fake suicide note placed by his bedside.
According to the alleged suicide note, Mr Nyeon is said to have bitterly complained about losing millions of dollars that he had invested in his fishing business in Sierra Leone, after the ministry of fisheries seized his trawlers for violation of the country’s fishing regulations.
The ministry of fisheries has not responded to the allegations of corruption and heavy-handedness mentioned in the alleged suicide note believed to have been written by Mr Nyeon. But a statement released by the government yesterday, says that it is conducting investigations.
Lawyers acting for Mr Nyeon, nor the Korean government have issued any statement on this tragic loss of life.
But sources in Freetown allege that the decision to seize Mr Nyeon’s trawlers and cancel his fishing agreement was motivated by greed, corruption and abuse of power by some government officials who had received heavy bribes from a Chinese company who wanted to take over Mr Nyeon’s fishing company.
Security sources are alleging that Mr Nyeon may have been murdered, after losing millions of dollars in lawsuit and threatening to expose those officials whom he had bribed to get his trawlers and fishing agreement back without success.
Questions are being asked as to why a Korean businessman will choose to commit suicide in Sierra Leone after losing millions of dollars he had invested in the country, rather than simply fly back to his loved ones in Korea and take his life there. Mr Nyeon is believed to be in his 50s or slightly younger.
The content of the alleged suicide note suggesting that Mr Nyeon took his own life so as to send a strong message to the government of Sierra Leone about corruption in high places, simply does not make sense either.
Will the truth about Mr Nyeon’s death ever come out? This is a question put to a renowned senior lawyer in Freetown, who chuckled and said: “So much now rests on the veracity of that so-called suicide note. Personally, I think it is a fake suicide note written so as to cover up something more sinister. But sadly in Sierra Leone, politics will get in the way of justice, and we will never know the truth about the death of Mr Nyeon.”
Whiles the truth about the death of Mr Nyeon may never be known, what is worryingly certain is that the meteorical increase in the number of dodgy, criminal foreign investors flocking to Sierra Leone for rich pickings, and with a government all too willing to set aside due diligence and good governance in a haste to sign investment contracts and agreements, innocent Sierra Leoneans may soon be caught up in dangerous gang-wars among triads and gangsters.
The death of Mr Nyeon, whether suicidal or not, must be a wakeup call for all politicians, religious leaders, and civil society to take the moral high ground and say loudly to the government: Not in our backyard.
This is the alleged suicide note claimed to have been written by Mr Nyeon: