Liberia: Police Investigates Huge Consignment of Military-grade Weapons Illegally Shipped to Liberia
Monrovia – The Liberia National Police say they are investigating the motive behind the illegal importation of a huge quantity of high-powered guns and ammunition often used by the military and highly skilled combat personnel.
The weapons were discovered in several caches loaded onto a container shipped to Liberia through the Freeport of Monrovia.
By Willie N. Tokpah, [email protected]m
According to the Inspector General of Police, Col. Patrick Sudue, through joint security efforts, they managed to confiscate the container which was shipped to Liberia by a Liberian residing in Texas, United States identified as Boye Benjamin Baker. He reportedly works for American Airlines.
“We had the intelligence so we went to the Freeport and confiscated the container, opened the container – the first few boxes that were searched, we saw some heavy weapons, a lot of them, we’re talking about military weapons. As we speak the container is sealed up, we’re going to search the entire container,” he said.
Col. Sudue disclosed that at least 15 assorted riffles have been discovered so far. “But those 15 weapons if you get them you can destabilize this country because those are high-ferocity-powered firing weapons. We’re talking about weapons that use 20-caliber rounds, 30-caliber rounds – those are not joking weapons,” Col Sudue said. Several ammunitions were also discovered.
The Inspector General disclosed that some of the ammunition discovered did not match the guns they have discovered so far confiscated.
He said, they had to halt the inspection of the container for security reasons but would inspect the entire content of the container on Friday.
He also disclosed that the investigation will now focus on the motive behind the importation of the weapon. “We need to know who are those behind the importation of those weapons and who were those going to use the weapons,” he said.
The arms and ammunition were uncovered following the issuance of a search and seizure warrant in connection with a classified leak of information from an unidentified man.
Three people have so far been arrested in connection with the illegal importation of the arms and are in police custody. One Barbra Debba of Old Road community who was to receive the consignment is among those arrested. The broker identified as Melvina has also been arrested. During the search of the consignee’s home (Boye Baker) in Brewersville, more weapons were discovered in the ceiling. Also found hiding in the ceiling is a man identified as Tamba who is also in police custody.
While the police have beef-up up scrutiny due to concerns as to how this ammunition have being smuggled into the country, with fear of consequences it may have on the pending elections if tough security measure is not put into place, the LNP has announced a major inspection of vehicle across the country to avoid security threats.
As part of security parole, LNP said it will remove unauthorized security features from vehicles across the country.
Thursday security seizure uncovered over ten document-preserved boxes loaded with the stock of the rifles discovered according to security sources mounted with long-range lance glasses including M203 launcher gadgets, American-made M16, and AK47, among others.