Luogatuo – Several commercial drivers traveling on the Luogatuo to Monrovia highways have raised concerns about the increasing harassment by security forces.
By Franklin Doloquee / Nimba County
The affected drivers, including members of the United Congress Drivers Transport Union of Liberia (UCDTUL), joined by others, explained to our Nimba County correspondent that they have been consistently harassed by joint security forces stationed at the Luogatuo border through the Monrovia highways.
They reported that there are over twenty checkpoints on the Luogatuo to Monrovia highways, where each gate collects 200.00 LD from every driver, amounting to 4,000.00 Liberian dollars. This situation, they claim, is adversely affecting their business as licensed commercial drivers.
“Brother, at each checkpoint, they will call the driver and demand 200 LD; if you can’t pay, you will not be allowed to pass through,” they added.
Speaking to reporters who visited the Luogatuo border, Lusine Toure, a commercial driver, told our Nimba County correspondent that at each of the twenty gates on the Luogatuo to Monrovia highways, they are required to pay substantial amounts of cash before being allowed to cross.
Some drivers, including motorcyclists, who spoke with our correspondent, also alleged that the continuous increase in money collection is affecting their business and hindering free movement.
Several state security personnel have complained about the low salary structures they receive from the government. Some security personnel at the checkpoints, who chose to remain anonymous, informed our correspondent that the money they collect from transporters is used to sustain themselves, including renting private homes at their assigned locations. The remaining balance is sent to their superiors who have vested interests in them and have assigned them to the various checkpoints.
Some of the checkpoints in Nimba County report sending 15,000 LD monthly to their superiors in Sanniquellie.
Our correspondent has learned that most of the security personnel assigned to these checkpoints come from different agencies, including LDEA, Liberia Fire Service, Police, NSA, LIS, and others.
At the Luogatuo border, our correspondent reported witnessing over ten trucks of red oil leaving Liberia for Ivory Coast without undergoing detailed payment inspections from LRA and Ministry of Commerce workers assigned at the Liberia border.