Gabon throws out 6 police officers

2012-02-23 14:14

Libreville - Six Gabonese police officers have been thrown out of the force over complicity in robberies and violence, the chief of police Leon Mistoul said on Wednesday.

"Some days ago, six of [you] have been dropped from our staff over serious fault, that's to say, for complicity in hold-ups and violence against people," said Mistoul in a speech to the force.

He added that four are currently in jail, and warned that "files on the others are pending and they will certainly join the unemployed in the days to come".

Police corruption is rampant in Gabon, with the population complaining that officers carrying out speed controls regularly demand higher fines than the official rate in order to pocket the difference.

In early January, Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba had cited restoring confidence in the police force as a "key challenge for the year".