Liberia: Joint Security Impounds Tanker Conveying ‘Unknown’ Goods from Guinea

The tanker bearing the goods   


Joint security at the Yekepa port of entry in Nimba County is investigating a tanker truck reportedly containing unidentified goods that was arrested at the Bololehwee border, one of the many borders that Liberia shares with the Republic of Guinea.

Sources told the Daily Observer that the tanker truck, painted all white and bears no license plate, entered the country at about mid-day on February 13, 2023 under the pretext of importing petroleum products.

But while Liberian custom examiners were checking to ascertain whether it was truly a petroleum product, the driver and two other occupants who brought the tanker in the country reportedly fled the scene and escaped into Guinea, abandoning the tanker at the Liberian side of the border.

But after several hours, a man known in the area as “Charter Man” who claimed to be the owner of the tanker, emerged from Guinea informing customs officers that he wanted to declare the goods.

Officers of the joint security however indicated that the goods entered the country under the cover of darkness and, as such, the tanker should be impounded. In an effort to determine the content of the tanker, the officers, at first sight, discovered a sample of a “harmful cigarette” known as Vent Guinee.

An officer, who asked not to be named, told this reporter in Bololehwee on Tuesday February 14, 2023 that the cigarette has been banned in Liberia. “This cigarette is not to be sold here. It has been banned,” the officer said.

It is against this backdrop that a decision was reached for the joint security to lead the investigations into the matter.

But a scuffle as to who to take charge of the inspection ensued between custom authority and the joint security — a situation that led to the tanker being taken to Yekepa Border for examination.

A unanimous decision has been reached to transfer the tanker to Ganta for offloading on today, where all security actors and the press will be present.

Meanwhile, the Bololehwee sub custom port is situated on the west of Yekepa and it is one of the border points in Nimba that is very close to the Guinean town of Nzérékoré. Due to the proximity of the border to Nzérékoré, most traders preferred using the Port to import and export goods to Liberia.

The main challenge facing the border in terms of the movement of goods and services is the deplorable road condition connecting the border to Yekepa.