27 C
Abuja
Monday, February 24, 2020

Grave robbers plunder hundreds of tombs in Sierra Leone

New security measures were in place Sunday at cemeteries in the Sierra Leone capital Freetown after grave robbers used pickaxes and sledge hammers to pry open tombs and steal coffins and jewellery.

Around 250 graves were targeted in three of Freetown’s seven cemeteries over the past two months, Freetown City Council said in a statement on Saturday.

At one of the cemeteries targeted, Kingtom, 60 percent of the more than 6,000 graves were those of Ebola victims.

Twenty-four hour security was now in place at all the city cemeteries including armed police guards to foil the robbers, the council’s environment and social officer Sulaiman Zainu-Parker told national radio.

The thefts were a “total disgrace to us as a nation… why can’t they leave the dead to finally rest in peace undisturbed?” he said.

Abdul Rahman, caretaker of Kingtom cemetery, told the radio station that the robbers forced “open concrete graves and vaults to steal ornaments, chains, wedding rings and clothes from the dead”.

“The vandals sometimes remove corpses from expensive mahogany and polished coffins and I suspect the coffins are later sold off to some local undertakers,” he added.

Relatives of the dead welcomed the move by the City Council to beef up security.

Raymond Taylor told AFP his family vault at Kingtom had been plundered.

“The mahogany casket of my late father which cost us about $1,000 was stolen by unknown persons and until this day has never been retrieved.

“It must have been sold to some unscrupulous undertaker for a pittance,” he said.

Another relative, Fatu Sheriff, said the grave of his aunt who died in London but was buried in the city’s Ascension Town cemetery was attacked and jewellery and her wedding ring stolen.

“I am certain that these were later pawned to the usual willing customers… It’s about time these things should stop,” he said.

 

– AFP

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Latest News

Vote count in Togo as opposition alleges fraud

Togo tallied ballots Sunday after a key challenger insisted he could cause a shock upset despite what he claimed was "fraud" in an election...

Former South African president Jacob Zuma returns after medical trip to Cuba

Former South African president Jacob Zuma touched down at OR Tambo International Airport, following a medical vacation to Cuba for an undisclosed illness.The former...

South Sudan rivals form coalition government

South Sudan opened a new chapter in its fragile emergence from civil war Saturday as rival leaders formed a coalition government that many observers...

Biden attempt to play victim of South African apartheid regime backfires

US Democratic Presidential contender and former vice president, Joe Biden has controversially claimed that he was arrested in South Africa during apartheid, while trying...

120 jihadists killed in a joint operation by French and Nigerien army

A joint operation by Nigerien and French troops in southwest Niger killed 120 "terrorists" and seized bomb-making equipment and vehicles, the country's defence ministry...

Uganda and Rwanda sign extradition treaty

The foreign ministers of Rwanda and Uganda have just signed an extradition treaty at the conclusion of the summit at the common border presided...

Libya’s LNA says ready to battle Turkish forces if talks fail

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar vowed on Friday to fight Turkish forces if peace talks in Geneva failed, in comments to a Russian news agency.The...

French forces say killed 50 militants in Mali

The French military says it has killed about 50 Islamist militants in Mali. It said one of the dead was a member of the...

Libya’s Haftar ready for ceasefire if Turkish, Syrian mercenaries leave

Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar said he would be ready for a ceasefire if Turkish and Syrian mercenaries left the country and...

Lesotho PM leaves country as murder charges loom

Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has failed to appear in court to face charges of murdering his estranged wife, Lipolelo Thabane in 2017.An aide...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -
%d bloggers like this: