Liberia: Suspect Linked to the Shipment of US$100m Cocaine to Liberia Released from Monrovia Central Prison
Whistleblowers Express Fear for Safety
MONROVIA – Oliver Zayzay, the Liberian national linked to the importation of cocaine worth about US$100m to Liberia has been released from the Monrovia Central Prison, FrontPageAfrica has gathered.
Zayzay was arrested along with Makki Ahmed and Adulai Djibril Djalo on October 6 in Sierra Leone while attempting when they fled Liberia after the historic cocaine bust and was turned over to the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency.
By Lennart Dodoo
He along with other suspects were forwarded to the Monrovia Central Prison on after undergoing about three weeks of interrogation by the Drugs Enforcement Agency.
The circumstances surrounding his release from the Monrovia Central Prison remain unclear. However, the whistleblowers who reported the discovery of the cocaine to the U.S. Embassy and the Liberian government fear that their lives are currently at stake due to his release.
Their fear stems from the threats made to them by some of the suspects involved with the shipment of the contraband who reportedly took their photos and recorded videos of them in their mobile phones and sent via WhatsApp to their partners’. According to the whistleblowers, they were threatened with death by the suspects when they were apprehended by state security forces who were secretly called to the scene by the whistleblowers.
FrontPageAfrica gathered their concern has been communicated to the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean.
The police investigation established that Zayzay, who owns Prime Logistic and Supplies facilitated the escape to Sierra Leone co-suspects Makki Ahmed and Adulai Djibril Djalo who were wanted by the Liberian government for the transportation of the cocaine to Liberia.
Zayzay reportedly came into contact with Co-defendants Malam Conte and Adulal Djibril Djalo based upon a request from his friend, Pillar, who informed him that some of his friends had arrived in Monrovia and needed vehicles for rental services.
Accordingly, on Saturday, October 1. 2022, Zayzay droved Co-defendants Makki Ahmed Issam and Adulal Djibril Djalo to the Liberian-Sierra Leonean border and used an illegal crossing point via the Mano River under the cover of darkness to escape the
arrests or the Co-defendants who were wanted by the state.
To What Extent Zayzay Was Involved?
The Daily Observer had earlier reported that the busting of the cocaine started Zayzay and his Brazilian associate entered the office of AJA Group at Bong Mines Pier, Monrovia, asking to purchase a container of pig feet.
The first attendant they spoke with requested more details since the men appeared to desire a larger-than-usual purchase. Apparently, AJA group brings in containers of fresh frozen food — partly to supply its own supermarket, as well as for other merchants, including market women. But for one individual to request a whole container of pig feet — what could they want to do with all that consignment?
“We want to take it to Abidjan to sell,” Zayzay told the attendant at the AJA Group office.
This was the first red flag. Being quite aware of the supply and demand in the sub-regional market, the attendant quickly told Zayzay and his colleague that pig feet were not what the commodity usually requested by the Ivoirians. It was chicken.
A Wrong Timing for His Release?
Zayzay’s release comes at a time when the Liberian Senate has amended the Drug Law which categorizes drug offenses into two, hence making it non-bailable and bailable depending on the gravity of the crime.
In the wisdom of the Senate, those who are involved in the importation, distribution, massive production, and custody of illicit drugs shall not be granted the right to bail when caught in the act, while the end users of the drug shall have the right to a bail when apprehended in the act.
The passage of the Act was preceded by a report from the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Claim and Petition, accompanied by a motion filed by Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence.
President Pro Tempore Albert Chie appointed a Conference Committee to work with the House of Representatives in harmonizing key components of the Act, which was previously passed by the House of Representatives for onward submission to the Senate for concurrence.
Those appointed to the Conference Committee include Senators Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County, Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence of Grand Bassa County, Augustine Chea of Sinoe County, Steve A. Zargo and Joseph K. Jallah of Lofa County.