By: Staff Writer
The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and joint security on Wednesday, October 5, destroyed a huge, confiscated cocaine that was arrested on October 1, 2022, valued at US$100 million.
Speaking at the burning site the Minister of Justice (MoJ), Frank Musa Dean, said Liberia will not be a safe place for drug traffickers, noting that they have a draft bill before the Legislature to enact a drug law that will ensure stiffer penalties for drug trafficking.
He stated that this Act, when passed, will seize the crime of drug trafficking unbelievably, adding: “We appreciate the cooperation and we also carrying on investigation and prosecution will follow later.”
The Justice Minister stated that out of the shipment of over 520 kilograms of cocaine, worth US$100 million, about 18 kilograms will be burned and two will be left for evidence and to aid the investigation for speedily prosecution.
It can be recalled that the LDEA over the weekend intercepted a shipment of over 520 kilograms of cocaine, worth US$100 million after agents of the unit stormed the SONIT Liberia Incorporated compound along the Japan Freeway and seized there a huge quantity of raw cocaine concealed among frozen goods of pig feet.
Also, speaking Wednesday at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia, where the drugs was disposed of, LDEA Director General, Macus Zehoue, said, since the establishment of the entity this is the biggest drug bust being captured in the country’s history.
Pictures from the BTC Compound
According to him, narcotic substances have always been disposed of at the Disco Hill, where the bodies of Ebola patients were disposed, adding that because of the nature of the case and the quality involved as well as on the basis of transparency, LDEA selected the BTC grounds to burn the substances for the public to witness.
“We want to disabuse the perception of recycling drugs by the public and I hope the transparency of this process will encourage everybody to fight drug trafficking,” the LDEA boss asserted.
Zehoue emphasized that one of the plates of cocaine is sold for $35,000 United States dollars on the world market.
For his part, the West African Coast Initiative (WACI) Coordinator at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Jesus Aguilar Cerenzo, said they’re glad to be part of “this great initiative,” stating that this is “a significant step and we appreciate the LDEA for the level of enforcement.”
He explained that drugs are destroying the young people in the society, and it is important to have strong law enforcers like the LDEA, stressing that the “UNODC is fully in support of this milestone initiative.”
Meanwhile, The United States Government has congratulated the swift action by the LDEA and the National Security Agency which resulted in the interdiction of a shipment of over 520 kilograms of cocaine, worth US$100 million.
A release from the US Embassy near Monrovia said the action also led to the arrest of two accused drug traffickers (one Guinea-Bissauan national in Liberia, and one Lebanese national in Sierra Leone) this past 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 United States, and Liberia, among others,” the release said.
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