Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Somaliland- bribery and corruption with in the police - Story

(Hargiesa) A couple of days ago, I went to visit some friends of mine from Hargeisa. About 6 pm, they asked their brother and cousin to take some dinner to their other brother who was being held in Kilinka police station.

About an hour later, the younger brother returns minus the cousin, looking really flustered. According to him, on their way back ( not far from the police) some policemen came out of nowhere and grabbed his cousin. The last thing he saw was him being bundled into a police van. He did not take any action as he was scared that the same fate would befall him.
I was really annoyed and confused wanting to know why anybody had to be arrested at all if they hadn't committed any crime past or present. I was told that it was normal for the police to arrest boys of a certain age group ( boys were 21) out and about at night due to their trouble making ways. But, it was only 7.20 pm and besides, why had they arrested one and not the other?
They called the oldest brother who starts making phone calls to friends in a position of power to help. He explained the situation and the fact that his cousin was an Afari from Djibouti ( Somali mother) who had had come to Hargeisa a year ago to study English. He was an upstanding going man who recently had heart surgery, and would not last the night in the cell.
The brother calls back saying that they would release him if they were provided with their qaad money. He instructs my friend (his sister) to go to the station with the money and, bring the cousin back. By that time, I was seething because even though I was aware of how corrupt the country was, I can never get used to it. I begged to go along so I could give them a piece of my mind but according to them, I would only make it worse.

My friend returns minus the cousin explaining that they wanted more money than the original 60000 shillings or $6 or 7. It was $20 now as all officers involved ( arresting, booking, wardens etc) wanted qaad money. Since it was late, he would be released very early in the morning when the money was delivered.
Next morning, they were told that the officer in charge of the case was not there and to come back in the evening. They also had to bring more money since a new set of officers were on duty and they had to be bribed as well. They returned in the evening believe it or not, only to be told the same crap with more money involved. He was released 24 hours and $60 later.
And another story which happened last week about the police and corruption. A taxi driver I know told me that he was caught with some alcohol which he was delivering to some customers. The police officers wanted $50 in exchange for his freedom. The taxi driver knew that the customers would pay the bribe but wouldn't want to be involved. So he told the police officers to come with him to his brothers house where he could get the money. He called the customers pretending that it was his brother and told them what happened. He drove the officers to the house where the customer was waiting outside with the money. What I couldn't believe was that they got their alcohol back too for an extra $20.
Wallahi inadeer let me tell you that this angers me so much. The police are supposed to protect us not lock you up for bribes. Like I told you, what angers me the most is how the people of this country are so used to it that they actually end up defending the police who are taking their money. "The government does not give them much" and, "the police have to eat too" is the response you get from the public
By Anonymous