Who’s Behind Latest Drug Burst?

The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency has confirmed the testing of herbal plants packaged in natural form at the Roberts International Airport to contain a presence of methamphetamine.

As part of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency’s initial scientific investigation on samples of these natural plants, the examination results revealed the presence of illicit drug, which is contained under the United Nations table/listing for illegal narcotic drugs.

The LDEA release issued yesterday noted that with immediate effect, the LDEA is initiating a full-scale investigation into the importation and illegal possession of said narcotic drug and will involve all those that may have links directly or indirectly. The public can be assured that our effort will leave no stone untouched as we endeavor to bring the perpetrator to book.

In so doing, LDEA added, “We will keep the public updated as progress is made on the investigation. We therefore called on members of the public to refrain from initiating any act of misinformation and disinformation that has the propensity to prejudice the ongoing investigation.

At the same time, the Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, Jr. has with immediate effect ordered the Joint Security of Liberia, as well as the LDEA, LNP, and the NSA, to expand their investigations on the importation of illegal drugs to bring to justice for all those involved.

In the latest release, the Justice Ministry says as part of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency’s investigation, which included scientific examination, but samples tested revealed illicit drug, which is banned under the rules of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes.

The Ministry of Justice, through the Joint Security of Liberia, has confirmed that the consignment of boxes it intercepted containing herbal plants packaged and in natural form at the Roberts International Airport has revealed what is known as methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine, widely known as Meth, is a synthetic stimulant with a high potential for addiction saying it is sought after for its ability to induce euphoria, often described as a feeling of well-being, which can endure for up to 24 hours. 

According to the release, the illegal substance is readily accessible and affordable, particularly to adolescents, due to its relatively low production cost.

“The substance can be administered through various methods, including injection, smoking, snorting, or oral ingestion. Injecting or smoking Methamphetamine results in an immediate and intense rush of its effects”. Minister Dean added.

It can be recalled recently, that the Management of the Roberts International Airport confirmed that suspicious boxes transported directly from the tarmac in a minibus and being escorted by the airport’s chief of security were intercepted by officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

According to the airport management, the AFL had reported that Mr. Samuel Freeman had claimed that the package belonged to Finda Bundo, the President’s Chief of Protocol but since denied saying such to the AFL officers.

Speaking to journalists at the Roberts International Airport Monday, Mr. Samuel Freeman, the RIA Chief of Security said the boxes were confiscated and placed in the Customs’ warehouse since August 31, but he became concerned when FrontPageAfrica reported Monday, September 11, 2023, edition that he was allegedly involved with drugs.

On Monday, the Assistant Commissioner of Customs at the Liberia Revenue Authority, Atty. Namue Koffi told Journalists that the ten boxes seized by the Armed Forces of Liberia contained a hundred packs of moringa leaves contrary to what has been reported on social media.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry has assured the public duly updated as progress is made on the investigation and in the wider fight against illicit drugs and transnational criminals.

A t the same time, the National Campaign Committee to Elect Alexander B. Cummings President of Liberia has condemned what it calls the continuous smuggling of dangerous drugs into Liberia.

It is now conclusively confirmed that the so-called moringa leaves being smuggled under the facilitation of the head of security of the Roberts International Airport (RIA), Liberia’s only international airport was laced with methamphetamine, an addictive drug used to make “kush,”a dangerous drug killing Liberians.

A CPP release noted that the latest drug smuggling through the RIA reminds of the US$100M cocaine smuggled into Liberia through the Freeport of Monrovia, for which a lame, conspiratorial and collusive investigation and prosecution saw the perpetrators walk out of jail and away from Liberia with no consequences for the commission of an international crime, on the watch of the Weah-led Government.

The party averred that Liberians are also reminded about the illegal importation of arms and ammunition through the same Freeport of Monrovia. Again, a lame investigation and conspiratorial cover-up led to no arrests, no prosecution, and accordingly no conviction for international arm smuggling into the country.

The National Campaign Committee to Elect Alexander B. Cummings President of Liberia added that Kush and other dangerous drugs are addicting and killing our children adding, “Liberia is being robbed of its future by poisoning the minds of our young people. “The drug epidemic has dangerously overtaken every county in the country, leading to a wave of fear and rising crimes across the country,” the released noted.

CPP said it would call for an investigation but does not trust the government due to the outcomes of past investigations.

It can be recalled that last October, authorities in Liberia, working in collaboration with US international narcotics agency, seized some $US100 million worth of cocaine, the largest in the country’s history and one-fifth of its national budget.

Many shock and disdain greeted the reports which once more put a stain on Liberia’s reputation and is already threatening to turn the struggling post-war nation into a haven for international drug trafficking.

Months after, the jurors at Criminal Court ‘C’ reached a unanimous not-guilty verdict exonerating all four defendants including Makki Ahmed Issam, Adulai Djalo, Oliver Zayzay, and Malam Conte accused of involvement in the scheme to import a staggering 520kg of cocaine into Liberia.

One of the accused had allegedly offered to pay the owners of the container, TRH Group, the sum of US$200,000 for the entire container which, at the time, cost less than US$30,000. The company, realizing the red flag, immediately contacted authorities leading to the arrest of the four suspects in the days following the bust.

In its ruling, the court ruled that the US$200,000 that was seized from the men by the Liberian government be returned to them. Hours after the verdict, the suspects fled the country and have not been seen or heard of since.

An attempt by Justice Minister Frank Musah Dean to rearrest the suspect and launch an appeal fell short as the Supreme Court; the highest judicial body in the country rejected the appeal. At the closed of the case, jurors at Criminal Court “C” unanimously acquitted the four defendants accused of importing into Liberia, 520 kilograms of cocaine valued at US$100 million.

The drugs were offloaded at TRH warehouse in Topoe Village, importer of frozen poultry products. The multi-million drug case in Liberia has raised more concerns among people in and out of Liberia.

One of those disappointed about the court ruling in the case was former United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy who said in a press conference, that like many Liberians, including the Minister of Justice, he was saddened to see the acquittal of suspects in both a recent human trafficking case and in the US$100 million cocaine trafficking case.


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