LIBERIA: Bea Mountain Mining Company (BMMC) has alerted the Liberia National Police (LNP) that three of its employees have been abducted by unknown persons and taken into the jungle. According to the January 7 letter from BMMC to the LNP, those allegedly abducted include Sabahattin Urekli, a Turkish national, along with Armah Boakai and Topka Mulbah.
“This letter urgently informs that three people have been taken hostage on the Jenna Brown Road whilst working and have been taken into the jungle. The criminals have not been identified. “This is a very serious situation,” the BMMC letter to the LNP stated.
Bea Mountain or BMMC has a Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia representing the people of Liberia including Grand Cape Mount. The MDA provides for several obligations and rights to the Government and Bea Mountain. The company’s obligations under the MDA also provide certain benefits to the communities in which the company operates. However, the communities continue to demand extra benefits from the company outside of the agreement with the Government, this paper has gathered.
“Even though Bea Mountain is executing its obligations as provided for under the MDA, the company still voluntarily decided to engage the community to negotiate some of their demands. While in these discussions, the community, particularly in Jenny Brown, kidnapped one Turkish and two Liberians (not Cape Mountainians). The citizens of Cape mount always threatened expats and other Liberians who are not from Cape Mount,” a source close to the BMMC informed, noting that the kidnappers are still keeping the hostages and demanding ransom for their release.
The hostage taken of an expatriate worker and two Liberian employees of the company comes amidst concerns that Cape Mountainains have been unreasonably demanding for employment of citizens of the county.
The Cape Mountainains are said to be issuing threats against the safety and security of investors; a case in point being demands by locals that BMMC should not only employ citizens of Grand Cape Mount but should also drives other Liberians away from Cape Mount.
The situation is an apparent risk of loss of investment and job opportunities in a country which is already struggling to attract investments in fulfilment of the promise by the CDC government that will avail more job opportunities to the people of Liberia
All efforts to contact relevant county authorities including Senator Simeon Taylor who serves as Senate Chairman on Mines in the Legislature proved futile. The mobile number of Police Spokesman Moses Carter rang incessantly without any response when The Analyst tried to verify the information.
Meanwhile, this paper has learned that efforts by the Grand Mount County Superintendent Aaron Vincent on Friday, January 7, 2022 to resolve the issue amounted to zero.