MONROVIA, LIBERIA-South Korean Police are investigating two officials of the Liberian Maritime Authority (LMA) on allegation of rape.
Police in the Asian nation said on Friday, September 23, 2022, that it detained the two officials over the alleged rape of two teenagers.
Report from South Korea said Moses Owen Browne and Daniel Tarr were arrested at a hotel in the City of Busan, after a friend of the alleged victims reported the case to the police.
A statement from the South Korea Foreign Ministry said the Ministry was reviewing whether the two Liberians were entitled to diplomatic immunity.
Police said it is seeking further arrest warrants for the two men, which would allow them to hold the suspects in custody for ten days.
Meanwhile, the LMA has expressed willingness to fully cooperate with the South Korean Government in the investigation of the alleged raped incident.
Moses Owen is Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization, while co-suspect Daniel Tarr is the Director of the Department of Maritime Environmental Protection at the entity.
Confirming the arrest of the officials, the LMA said it received the news with grave concerns.
In a statement over the weekend, the Maritime Authority said it maintains a zero-tolerance stance on any or all types of Sexual and Gender-Based offenses.
It added that it views the allegation against the officials as most egregious and have no place in any civilized society, while vowing to take appropriate actions pursuant to national and international laws.
At the same time, the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection has welcomed the statement from the Liberia Maritime Authority, affirming its full cooperation with the Government of South Korea on the allegation of rape of minors by the two Liberian officials.
The Ministry said it finds the allegation disturbing, distressing and a matter that goes completely against Liberia’s commitment to fighting the scourge of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The Gender Ministry, in a statement, condemned the alleged sexual misbehaving acts and considers same as unacceptable and inexcusable.
It says if confirmed, it will have the propensity to further undermine Liberia’s fight against rape, and poses a setback in achieving Goal 5 of Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which highlights the urgent need in ending violence and exploitation of women and girls.
The Ministry admonishes all Government officials and the Liberian populace at large to be circumspect in daily interactions at home and abroad, and to continue to join hands with Government in the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.