Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Grave robbers plunder hundreds of tombs in Sierra Leone

08 February 2016, 18:21

Freetown - 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.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...