MONROVIA – FrontPageAfrica has confirmed the arrest of one Stephen S. Daniels, an employee of the Ministry of Post & Telecommunications, in connection to the drugs that were being smuggled from the Roberts International Airport. Daniels has been identified as the consignee who flew the drugs into Liberia via Kenya Airways on August 31.
By Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
The air waybill for the consignment in possession of FrontPageAfrica shows Daniels as the consignee and the consignment is described as “dry khat” – a form of drug.
Khat contains the alkaloid cathinone, a stimulant that causes greater sociability, excitement, loss of appetite, and mild euphoria.
The consignment upon inspection by Customs in the presence of joint security on Monday was declared organic moringa tea and was turned over to the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) for further testing. The LDEA test discovered the presence of Methamphetamine or meth – a highly addictive drug.
Daniels works with the Ministry of Post & Telecommunications as a dispatcher. He also runs a private company, Afri Express Global Inc. as the Chief Executive Officer.
The suspended Director of Security at Roberts International Airport, Samuel Freeman, and the Cargo Officer at Jos Travel, Sam Saryon (who is not the NSA Deputy Director), have found themselves in the spotlight as prime suspects in a drug-related incident. Both individuals are now sought after by the Liberia National Police and the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency on charges of alleged drug trafficking.
Jos Travel, serves as the General Sales Agent for Kenya Airways and is responsible for ticket and cargo operations in Monrovia.
Freeman, who reportedly implicated the Chief of Protocol for the Republic of Liberia, Ms. Nora Finda Bondo, in connection with the drugs, discovered inside multiple boxes he attempted to smuggle from the tarmac through an unauthorized gate on Monday, vehemently denied the allegations regarding the contents of these boxes. His denial followed a thorough inspection by Customs, in the presence of joint security forces, which revealed what appeared to be organic moringa tea, rather than drugs.
Meanwhile, a separate incident unfolded as Customs offices at Roberts International Airport were burglarized on Tuesday. However, the Liberia Revenue Authority clarified that this burglary appeared unrelated to the recent drug controversy. Danicius K. Sengbe, the Communications Manager at the Liberia Revenue Authority, confirmed the break-in, explaining that an individual named Joe Welh, an employee of Elite Facility, a janitorial company contracted by the LRA for cleaning services, was arrested and handed over to the police. Welh reportedly arrived at work early and entered the ceiling, but no missing items have been reported as the police continue their investigation.
Meanwhile, President Weah has forcefully denied allegations made by opposition leaders implicating his government in drug importation into Liberia. Opposition figures within Liberia have accused the CDC government of exacerbating the influx of drugs into the country, which they argue is harming the younger generation of Liberians.
During a recent political rally held at Gbarnga, Bong County, at the David Kuyon Sports Stadium on September 13, President Weah refuted these claims. He asserted that drug abuse in Liberia has been an enduring issue spanning many years, one for which his government should not bear sole responsibility. President Weah candidly shared his personal experiences with the drug issue in Liberia, dating back to his youth and even during his tenure as a Senator and now as the President.
Moreover, President Weah pointed out that during the presidencies of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Vice President Joseph Boakai, Liberia experienced a notable surge in drug-related activities. He cited an instance involving the former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) who was apprehended with drugs in his vehicle along the Liberia-Sierra Leone border during Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s presidency and Joseph Boakai’s vice presidency.
Additionally, President Weah emphasized his administration’s commitment to combating the drug problem in Liberia, citing recently enacted drug laws as evidence of their dedication to this cause.