Liberia: Gov't Concealing a Drug Bust?

The purported moringa leaves showcased by the Liberia Revenue Authority


…. As the highly addictive substance Methamphetamine found amid “Moringa tea leaves” claims

The Liberian government is facing scrutiny over allegations of a potential cover-up in a drug bust as tests conducted on ten seized boxes at the Roberts International Airport revealed the presence of methamphetamine in some of the packages.

The Liberia Revenue Authority had yesterday claimed that the boxes, which the Airport Security Manager had allegedly attempted to smuggle out,  contained packs of raw moringa tea leaves, but needed further testing.

However, tests conducted by the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), according to sources, have revealed that some of the packages in the boxes contained methamphetamine, a highly addictive substance that is not yet widely used in Liberia. 

“There were ten boxes confiscated totaling one hundred packages,” Atty. D. Blamo Kofa, Assistant Commissioner for Customs, Compliance & Enforcement Division at the LRA disclosed.  “Each box contained ten packages of green tea leaves believed to be Moringa organic tea leaves imported by an individual identified as Stephen Daniels.”

"We will send these to the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency for further testing. We will communicate the results and any other information we receive, but for now, this is the information we have."

The Kofa disclosure came twelve days after the boxes were seized and was done in the presence of Daniels, the consignee.  Officers from the joint security who had accompanied Koffa to display the contents were seen chewing the leaves from “the boxes to prove that they were Moringa tea leaves and not drugs.”

The methamphetamine, which the LDEA has discovered, is a potent and highly addictive central nervous system stimulant. It affects the brain's dopamine and norepinephrine systems, leading to an intense rush of euphoria and increased energy levels. Users often experience increased aggression, paranoia, and violent behavior, posing potential harm to themselves and others.

The alleged drug bust, which was first reported by Frontpage Africa, claimed that Samuel Freeman, the Security Manager at the Airport, was arrested while attempting to transport boxes suspected of containing contraband through an unauthorized gate. The airport authority confirmed the report that the boxes were seized by the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia assigned at the airport but remained silent regarding Freeman's alleged involvement in the transportation of the consignments.

Freeman, who was present at the airport during the display of the consignments, denies the allegations made against him by FrontPage Africa. He claims that the reports are intent on destroying his reputation, which he has worked hard to build over the years.

Over the past two years, drug busts have become more prevalent in Liberia. The most notable case was the seizure of $100 million worth of cocaine by the government in 2022. However, the government lost the cases, resulting in the accused perpetrators being set free.