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We Will Start Regulating Social Media In Sierra Leone – Says, Police

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Head of the Scientific Support Department of the Sierra Leone Police has told pressmen that they were working on modalities to develop measures on the use of social media platforms.

Chief Superintendent of Police, Ibrahim Joseph Lahai, was responding to a question posed by a journalist in relation to the monitoring of social medial platforms in the country.

“Social Media is a virtually free enterprise, but many Sierra Leoneans are misusing it. Two or three people will just wake up one morning and open a social media group and start misbehaving. We will soon come up with measures to ensure the appropriate use of the social media platforms,” he said.

Even though police are yet to develop any law in regard to the issue, they have made several arrests on allegations of the misuse of social media platforms.

CSP Lahai was speaking yesterday at the Police Headquarter on the recent arrest of some Chinese and Ghanaian nationals on allegations of sim boxx fraud.

He said on the 18th of November, they received an intelligence that a particular premise at Cantonment Road, Brookfields, was housing a group of Chinese and Ghanaian nationals who were ‘deeply’ engaged in sim boxx fraud.

He alleges that the suspects were diverting international calls that supposed to pass through Sierra Leone gateway with the motive that the required payments go into their pockets.

He said when the search was conducted by 6 am, they discovered three Chinese, two Ghanaians and one Sierra Leonean at the said resident.

He noted that the Sierra Leonean was tasked to divert calls coming from abroad to respective individuals within the country without using the country’s National Telecommunications facility as supposed to be the case.

“We discovered therein several sim boxes, recent models that can block your own phone and divert the call to someone else and a quantity of routers. We seized all of them including 474 mobile phones, all with active sim cards. Roughly, more than three million sim cards were also discovered in the house. 95% of those sim cards belong to Africell,” he said.

He said all exhibits have been brought to the CID headquarters for further investigations.

CSP Lahai noted that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company-Timeline Engineering Company has told them that the company was registered, but stated that they were yet to prove the validity of the said information.

He said all of the suspects were with the police helping them with investigations.

“So far the evidence against them is very strong. We are doing the investigation together with specialist in communication from NATCOM. The allegations of diverting and terminating calls, defrauding the communication network of Sierra Leone is true but investigations are ongoing,” he said.

In another development, Police media boss, Superintendent Brima Kamara, disclosed that five persons and the Paramount Chief of Bagruwa Chiefdom, Moyamba district, were in custody helping police with investigations on allegations relating to an alleged ritual murder of one Osman Alieu.

He said the deceased got missing for days and that after extreme search, they discovered his corpse with key parts missing, and alleged that the Paramount Chief, his driver, Thomas Kailie and a close ally, Idrissa Lahai could have ritually murdered the deceased.

Meanwhile, the head of investigation at the CDIID, Assistant Superintendent Christian Davies Cole, also told newsmen that the thirty-one police officers who were suspended last month after they alleged that the wife of the Inspector General had asked them to squat on the floor have been reinstated after they apologised for their action.

ASP Cole, who said she had been a lawyer of eight years standing before joining the police force, said the investigations took so long because of the intricacies of the case since it involved the wife of the IGP and the estate officers of the police.

She said the investigation was based on the disciplined aspects of it in as much as they also respect the human rights aspect of the officers.

“But we also have regulations on which all police officers were trained which all of us should abide by. The estate officers were guilty of revealing information of police interest to ordinary person. Under our Regulations, rule 34 forbid police to communicate anything of police interest to ordinary person and they were guilty of that,” she said.

However, the 31 officers were represented by ASP Kabia who, though circumspect, apologised on behalf of his colleagues to the Mrs. Olga Moigbeh.

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