Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 August 2020:
Sierra Leone police yesterday published a statement warning the public about a large quantity of fake dollars that are making the rounds in the country, which could create serious problem for the economy and fuel organsied crime.
“The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) wishes to inform the general public that there are quantities of fake United States Dollars currently in circulation in Sierra Leone. In view of this, the SLP would like to advise everyone to exercise maximum precaution when transacting in United States’ currency notes,” the statement reads.
Calling on the support of the public to help stem this problem, the police media and public relations unit says that: “Against this backdrop, the general public is advised and at the same time requested to inform the Police of anyone positively suspected of transacting and/or circulating fake United States’ Dollars in the Country.
“You are also encouraged to assist the Police arrest and prosecute anyone suspected to be involved or engaged in circulating these fake currency notes in the market.”
Anyone with information should contact the Sierra Leone Police Headquarters at George Street, Freetown; or call any of their telephone contact numbers: (+232)77261070/79509896 immediately.
In another development, the Sierra Leone police yesterday announced that it is clamping down on commercial vehicle operators that are short-changing passengers, by dropping them off part-way through their journey before arriving at their paid destination.
This is what the police said in a statement, dubbed – “OPERATION RESTORE ORDER”:
“The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) has observed with dismay that drivers of commercial vehicles plying the East of Freetown up to Waterloo, are failing to take passengers to their rightful destinations.
“Conscious of the untold suffering this act is causing to passengers, the Freetown East Region has launched “Operation Restore Order” which aims to boost Police efforts at all strategic loading points, thereby ensuring that commercial drivers take passengers to their actual destinations.
“This move is predicated on the need to fulfil its obligation to the people of Sierra Leone and to mitigate and forestall the unnecessary sufferings passengers would have to undergo in the hands of wicked and insensitive drivers.
“The SLP therefore views the act of disembarking passengers halfway to their rightful destination as unlawful, inhumane, and outright wickedness.
“Knowing that this operation demands coordination, collaboration, and cooperation, the Freetown-East Region would like to inform the public that the operation is jointly undertaken with the Office of National Security (ONS), The Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), and the Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Union.”
But concerns are being raised about the involvement of a trigger-happy military, in helping the police tackle what many see as law enforcement matter, especially given the poor track record of the military in dealing with internal civilian engagment.
After the shooting dead of at least 6 young people in Makeni last month and seriously injuring dozens more (Photo above), there are calls for the military to be usefully deployed in national farming and road maintenance projects across the country, rather than getting involved in helping the police maintain law and order in Sierra Leone.
Since the Makeni massacre last month, and despite calls for an independent inquiry, the government has refused to publish the names of those involved in conducting the inquiry as well as the terms of reference and date the inquiry will start.