Liberia Justice Minister, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean Jr., has warned that Liberia will not be a safe haven for drug traffickers, whether as a point of transit or final destination.
The Country Attonery General at the same time extoled the United States government, through its Embassy in Liberia and its Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement, for the tremendous support to it continues to receive in the fight against drug trafficking and other transnational crimes.
He made the assertion Monday, October 3, 2022 during a joint press conference held at the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) office in Sinkor, as investigations continue into the arrest of US$100 million worth of raw cocaine in the country recently.
“We want to be very clear that Liberia will not be a safe haven for drug traffickers, whether as a point of transit or final destination,” Minister Dean declared.
The Justice Minister’s warning comes in the wake of the arrest of a Guinea-Bissauan national identified as Malam Conte, 31, by the LDEA and National Security Agency (NSA) in connection with a reported US$100 million worth of cocaine placed in a container bound for Monrovia.
The report further said that, at about 1:00 PM, officers of the LDEA stormed the SONIT Liberia Inc. compound and seized from there a huge quantity of raw cocaine concealed among frozen goods owned by SONIT Inc.
Meanwhile, Minister Dean has at the same time stressed that those arrested will face the full weight of the Liberian law, disclosing that the joint security has seized the matter and declared the premises of SONIT Liberia Incorporated, in Topoe’s Village as a crime scene.
The LDEA Director General, Marcus D. Zehyoue, disclosed that the information posted on the DEA’s social media page or whatever platform is true and they have since forwarded the information to several media institutions across the country.
Zehyoue, however, said that as per the nature of the arrest and the condition under which the search was conducted, they couldn’t conclude the entire search but hoped to do that by every means possible.
He said in addition to the information posted about the “alleged accomplices to suspect Malam Conte”, the intelligence dragnet has successfully arrested a Lebanese national identified as Issam Mekki, revealing that Mekki was arrested across the Bo-Waterside on the Sierra Leone border while attempting to escape the country.
Zehyou further pointed out that Mekki was then ordered to be brought back to Monrovia with immediate effect, adding that one of the accomplices, Gustavo Henrique, fled the country on Saturday evening.
“This morning, I have with immediate effect commissioned my investigation department to begin a full-scale investigation into the arrest, to include all those who may have connections to the reported syndicates, whether directly or indirectly,” he said.
The LDEA boss further metained the government, through the DEA, is taking every step possible to ensure that the crime scene remains a priority and that they are able to reach out to every source necessary to aid the investigation to a conclusion.
Zehyoue at the same time vowed that they will leave no stone unturned and that they will ensure that all those involved face the full weight of the law, adding, “We are also working closely with our international counterparts to ensure we gather sufficient information leading towards extended links surrounding the criminal conspiracy.”
Meanwhile, The United States Government has also congratulated “the swift action by the Liberian government through the LDEA and the National Security Agency which resulted in the banning of a shipment of over 520 kilograms of cocaine, worth US$100 million, and the arrest of two accused drug traffickers, Conte and Mekki over the weekend.
“This is a result of ongoing investigations around the world and close coordination between national security services. The success of this operation is the direct result of excellent communication between law enforcement agencies around the world, including Brazil,” the Embassy said.
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