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Mysterious Fires Burn 2 Cybercaf 

By  Peterkins Manyong

Mysterious fires have burnt two cybercafés within three days in Bamenda, causing untold damages to adjoining business enterprises.

Burnt out Allied Engineer cybercafe, ANUCAM & electrical spare parts store

The first was a cybercafé on Fon Street which shared a building with ANUCAM Publishing House, a bookshop, MBAMBA Union and an electrical spare parts shop.  The building reportedly caught fire at about 1a.m on Sunday, October 17. The damage is estimated at billions of FCFA. ANUCAM reportedly incurred a loss of FCFA 150 million.

While the public was still trying to fathom the cause of the destruction, another cybercafé on Foncha Street Junction also went up in flames. The cybercafé belonged to Omer BB Sendze, who refused to comment when contacted. Frederick Chin, a cameraman who owns a photo laboratory in the same building, told the press that the fire there also commenced at 1a.m.

Before the fire started, he said, a text message was received from the anonymous callers who demanded FCFA 100.000. They, however, did not say where the money should be channelled.
Rudolf Mbu Besong, legal adviser of AES-SONEL, was an early visitor to each of the sites of the arson.

He told The Post at Foncha Junction that he was at the site of the first burning, examined the metre and was sure that the fire could not have been the result of an electrical fault.  He said when he heard of another burning on Foncha Street, he went, accompanied by a sheriff bailiff from Godwill Mbah Ndum’s Chambers to protect the interest of AES-SONEL.

"We established that AES-SONEL poles, cable metres, boards and circuit breakers were intact.
This absolves AES -SONEL from any liability in respect of the two burnt houses," Mbah Ndum said. The Post later learnt from police sources that explosives were removed from one of the cybercafés at Nkwen before they could ignite. The Post also learnt that the proprietor of the cybercafé received an anonymous message before the fire started.

Meanwhile, an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty reigned in Bambili where The Post was erroneously informed that another cybercafé had been burnt. At press time, Bamenda Judicial police were working in tandem with the Northwest Service of Internal Security to unravel the mystery.

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