News / Africa

Liberia Police Cracking Down on Bribes

A policeman regulates traffic in Monrovia, Liberia, Jan. 29, 2013.A policeman regulates traffic in Monrovia, Liberia, Jan. 29, 2013.
x
A policeman regulates traffic in Monrovia, Liberia, Jan. 29, 2013.
A policeman regulates traffic in Monrovia, Liberia, Jan. 29, 2013.
Anne Look
Liberia's police force says it is cracking down on officers demanding and accepting bribes, following the release this month of Transparency International's 2013 Global Corruption Barometer report

The Transparency International report found 77 percent of people surveyed in Liberia paid a bribe to police in the past year. 

That has sparked outrage in Liberia, where motorists said policemen routinely demanded small bribes, or as they said in Monrovia, "a small thing before you go."

Liberia's police spokesman, Sam Collins, said any officer taking a bribe would be fired and could face criminal charges. 

"Any attempt on the part of any officer to get involved in acts unbecoming of the police officer, that officer will be dealt with.  There will be no turning back," he said.

Drivers of commercial vehicles said they were particularly targeted by police looking for bribes.

Driver Bull Davies said an officer can stop you for a violation, real or imagined, and demand payment of as much as $15 or 500 to 1,000 Liberian dollars.

"They will threaten to give you a ticket or will not give you a ticket.  Then they will tell someone give me 1,000 or give me 500.  They will receive that 500 and they will not give a receipt.  They will not give you anything.  They receive it and they leave.  They gone," he said.

A commercial driver typically only earns about 1,000 Liberian dollars per day.

But ex-policeman Morris Tamba said officers were also sometimes just trying to make ends meet.

"If you are paid on time, [they] give you good salary on time, everything on time, the bribery will not be received as much as it is now.  The corruption will be eliminated.  Take an example.  Last month, they are not getting paid.  What do you expect somebody to do?  The man search outside.  No food to the house.  He will go in the street.  He will arrest somebody falsely," he said.

Liberia's police spokesman said officers are being paid on time.  But VOA spoke to several policemen who said their monthly salaries are sometimes delayed by as much as a week.

(Prince Collins contributed reporting from Monrovia, Liberia.)

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More