It’s Time to Crack The Whip on Foreigners Causing Problems for Liberia

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A FEW DAYS AGO, AUTHORITIES of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) released their statistics on illicit drugs and their dealers for June 2018.

ACCORDING TO THE DEA, of the 13 names listed in the report, three are Liberians while the remaining 10 are Nigerians.

ALL OF THESE CRIMINALS WERE ARRESTED with heroin and cocaine at different locations in the country.

MR. MARVIN M. SARKOR, WHO read his agency’s statistics, disclosed that the heroin confiscated from the Nigerians was 274g and worth L$1,218,000 (US$8,650); while the cocaine 126g L$840,000 (US$6,000).

ACCORDING TO MR. SARKOR, who is the Deputy Director of Operations, all of the drugs trafficked in the country are intended for commercial purposes.

HE SAID IN ORDER TO FIGHT drug traffickers in Liberia, there needs to be stronger drug laws where people involved in drug trade will no longer go to court and come out free, which is not the opposite.

“AT THE MOMENT WE HAVE passed on the current drug laws in the country over to our lawmakers and they are studying it for their inputs,” the Deputy DEA Director for Operations said.

MR. SARKOR NAMED CLARA TOWN, Duala, New Kru Town, Logan Town and White Plains as few places where they would consider constructing depots. Apparently, these communities are hotspots for the illicit trade.

IN MID JUNE 2018, THE DEA arrested at least five of our same West African brothers — Alexander Justin, 19, of Chicken Soup Factory; Kin Elebechi, 37, of ELWA Junction; Kingsley Obianol, 42, of Jacob Town; Joseph Obi, 48, popularly known as Chairman of VOA Community; and Ike Christian, 36, of Soul Clinic as those Nigerians — all of whom were caught red-handed with the illegal substances in their various communities.

AGAIN MR. SARKOR, who was involved with this operation, put the total street value of the drugs arrested with these five Nigerians at US$8,450 — a little over one million Liberian dollars.

ACCORDING TO HIM, the drugs law is weak; something he stressed is also responsible for the proliferation of drugs in the communities.

HE HAD WISHED for the Nigerian men to be deported to their country; adding, “Those guys will very soon be back in the communities because the drugs law is weak, and the crime is billable.

“IF THE CRIME IS NOT BILLABLE, those guys are charged, prosecuted and if found guilty, sentenced, the issue of drugs will not be high in the Liberia,” he stressed.

EVEN THOUGH THE FIVE NIGERIANS arrested by the LDEA refuted the allegation and accused LDEA agents of planting drugs in their various home and shops, it’s just hard to separate them from this kind of trade. Time and again, they are mainly the only ones, among foreign nationals residing in this country, to always be associated with these very harmful substances. They are always caught red-handed at various border posts with these illegal drugs.

THE ISSUE OF NIGERIANS and others flooding our communities with illicit drugs and turning our young men and women into ‘zombies,’ is not the only problem they are causing for this nation.

AGAIN, THEIR FOOTPRINTS are found all over in the currency counterfeiting underground industry in and around Monrovia.

EARLY THIS MONTH, POLICE in the commercial hub of Ganta City, Nimba County arrested another Nigerian national identified as Ugochukwa P. Odom, 30. Suspect Odom had entered Liberia through the Nimba County Loguatuo border, with about L$1.3 million in counterfeit, before being arrested upon a tipoff in Ganta.

FOR ODOM, HE ADMITTED spending just 2000 Naira (US$5.54) to print the “fake Liberian dollars” in Calabar State.

HE SAID HE HAD TRAVELED from Nigeria with the counterfeit banknotes through La Côte d’Ivoire, via Loguatuo border, to infuse them into the Liberian market.

The money, he said, was printed in Nigeria in order to bring it to Liberia for “business purpose.”

ON SATURDAY, MAY 26, another Nigerian apparently in his 40s was arrested by the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the Dwazon Community, Lower Margibi County, along the Roberts International Airport highway. This Nigerian man, who claims to be a Pastor (man of God) in one of the branches of the Redeemed Christian Church in Dwazon, was arrested for being in possession of an disclosed sum, which one security source associated with the arrest estimated at nearly US$50,000 and a machine that produces the fake currency.

ACCORDING TO REPORTS, he had been involved with the ‘black money’ trade in many West African countries for more than 20 years. “Producing counterfeits is a normal thing in Nigeria,” was a response he gave when he was asked why he was involved in the illegal act.

IT’S NO DOUBT THIS so-called Nigerian preacher man had some very good, unsuspecting Liberian businessmen and women caught in his web of criminality. If they didn’t know that the purported US dollars he had brought to them to do trading were counterfeit, they, too, are in trouble with the law when they get caught.

HE WAS HELD IN THE police custody as he awaited processing for court trial. However, few days following that incident, locals in Dwazon reported seeing him back into the community as a “free man.”

STORIES OF NIGERIANS AND other nationals entering Liberia with illegal substances and while in the country being involved in acts against the laws of the land abound.

WE CAN DO SOMETHING about it; our stakeholders can fix the mess.

WE HAVE NOT SEEN the draft drugs laws that were submitted to the lawmakers for their perusal. W

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