Liberia: Joint Security Recommends Transfer of Current LDEA Officers from Bong County

Alex Toweh, LDEA’s Bong Commander (left) and Chief of Operations, Prince Boimah (right) have been branded by Joint Security Investigators in Bong as “dangerous to the society” following an investigation into a criminal facilitation case

Gbarnga, Bong County – Joint security investigators in Bong County have recommended to the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) the transfer of three LDEA officials from Bong County following an investigative report into a criminal facilitation and negligence of a case reported by Teddy Glegneir of the Camp Tubman Military Barracks against LDEA’s Bong County Commander, Alex Toweh, Chief of Operations Prince Boimah and Intelligence Officer Darius Melen.

Report by Selma Lomax, [email protected]

The three LDEA officers, according to Jeffery E. Garpeh, Superintendent of the Joint of the Joint Security Investigators, were caught in the act of criminally facilitating one Josephine Nelson of Kakata, Margibi County with a bag of marijuana value at L$60,000.

The investigators branded the three LDEA officers as “bad agents” and “dangerous to the society”.

According to Garpeh, during the process of cross examination, Josephine was aided to escape by Melen to an unknown destination intended to avoid her from being interrogated by the police.

LDEA’s Intelligence Officer, Darius Melen, according to investigation aided the escape of a notorious drugs suspect

History of the Case

It can be recalled that on June 8, 2019 at about 12: 30 p.m., Glegneir reported to the police headquarters in Gbarnga about a LDEA officer escorting a girl believed to be his girlfriend with a bag of marijuana.

Glegneir had ordered the arrest of Josephine after he noticed that Prince Boimah, LDEA’s Chief of Operations, was escorting her with marijuana. Glegneir later stopped Josephine from passing through the Iron Gate check point and his action led to a fight between Glegneir and Boimah at the check point.

Scuffle Between LDEA and AFL Soldiers

While no one was injured during the scuffle, it paralyzed normal activities for nearly an hour at the Iron Gate check point, where the incident happened in Gbarnga, Bong County.

While in police custody, Melen reportedly signed for Josephine and allowed her to escape.

Allegations of LDEA officers in Bong County recycling drugs to dealers, who they arrest, have dogged the LDEA since Melen took assignment in Bong County two years ago.

In January 2017, Melen was accused of reportedly compromising an arrest of a drug dealer in Gbarnga, who would later be his friend. When asked he denied the allegation and termed it as a smear campaign intended to besmear his character.

The release of Josephine by Melen is angering citizens of the county, with many calling on the LDEA authorities to further prosecute Melen to produce the suspect.

According to Joseph Peabody, a father of two, the LDEA should prosecute Melen beyond suspension because he facilitated the suspect’s release without her facing investigation.

Peabody said prosecuting Melen would serve as a deterrent, especially in the wake of claims that LDEA officers are in the constant behavior of aiding drug dealers transport huge quantity of drugs across the checkpoint.

Bong Residents Hail Melen Suspension 

This week’s suspension of Melen has been greeted with joy from some citizens of the county, who are in the fight against drugs.

Some parents have hailed the move by Director Soko and have termed it as “the right step in the right direction. 

“This is a good beginning and a good precedence. I want to laud Director Soko and his entire staff for this decision to suspend Darius Melen. This will send a caveat to those who are in similar behavior,” said a 32-year-old resident of Civil Compound community only identified as Theo.