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Villagers beat up robbery suspects

Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — In a reversal of roles, three suspected armed robbers became victims of mob justice after they were viciously beaten up by villagers for allegedly robbing a Chinese businessman last week.

A 30-year-old Chinese businessman re­ported to the police he had been robbed of M2 500 and two mobile phones by three men at gun point. The robbers also made off with the businessman’s vehicle.

The villagers from Maserung, Ha Mofo­ka, Ha Mahlehle, Ha ‘Ngoe and Ha Khoete, caught the suspects after the stolen vehi­cle they were driving in overturned near one of the villages.
Police spokesperson, Lebona Mohloboli, confirmed the incident.

“A Chinese businessman reported that he had been robbed of M2 500 and two mobile phones by three unknown men,” Mohloboli said. “The suspects also went away with the businessman’s vehicle that was parked outside his business after rob­bing him.”

“It was reported that the suspects drove off with the vehicle taking the direction to Mohale’s Hoek. Villagers in Thabana -Morena, where the businessman oper­ates, informed villagers in the aforemen­tioned villagers to help them catch the armed robbers.”

The suspects, who were over speeding, were involved in an accident when the car overturned.
Since word had spread that a Chinese businessman had lost a vehicle to robbers, when the villagers identified the car at the scene of the accident, they assaulted the occupants of the overturned vehicle.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the suspects lying helplessly after sustaining serious injuries from the beat­ings.

The suspects were in possession of an il­legal 9mm firearm suspected to have been the gun used to steal from the Chinese businessman.

The suspects were also found in posses­sion of two mobile phones similar to those reported stolen from the Chinese busi­nessman.

Meanwhile, the trio was admitted to Mafeteng hospital and is under police guard.
Upon release from hospital, they will face robbery charges.

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