Jurors Indict Five for Human Trafficking

MONTSERADO, Monrovia – Four Lebanese nationals and a Liberian have been indicted by the Special Grand Jurors for Montserrado County on May 4th. They were indicted on charges of illicit trafficking of a human being and migrant smuggling.

The defendants included four Lebanese nationals, Abbas El Debes, Bashir Al Laskis, Ghazi Bashar, Hayah Debes; and a Liberian, Richard Dickson Tamba. They were also indicted for gang rape, criminal conspiracy and felony of the first degree.

The jurors’ indictment says that the defendants conspired to recruit, transport and transfer several Liberian young women to the Republic of Lebanon for the purpose of exploitation and forced labor.

Their indictment follows an investigation by the joint security forces of Liberia and Lebanon, looking into the alleged trafficking of several Liberian girls to Lebanon.

Over fifteen of the girls have been repatriated to Liberia by the government of Liberia and are waiting to be reunited with their families.

According to the indictment, the victims were recruited in Monrovia during the period 2011 to 2013. They were each promised salaries between US$200 to US$250.00 for jobs they would perform in Lebanon.

The indictment indicated that upon the arrival of the girls in Lebanon, their alleged traffickers did not live up to their promises but instead seized their passports and subjected them to inhumane treatment.

Featured photo credit: National Museum of American History

Stephen Kollie

Originally from Voinjama, Lofa County, Stephen is currently based in Monrovia and has been a reporter for Front Page Africa. He has practiced in the field of journalism since he was 12 years old, having started as a child broadcaster.

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