2 Drug Smugglers Arrested at RIA, 1 Carrying Cocaine Pellets in Stomach

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Suspects Mbah (right) and Yeaboah at LDEA's office

The Liberia Narcotics Control Bureau, otherwise known as the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), has intercepted and arrested two foreigners at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), foiling a massive drug deal destined for the country during the inaugural parties, one of the illegal substance conveyors has admitted.

The LDEA had put all of its machinery into action on the eve of the October 10 presidential and legislative elections – up to the December 26 presidential runoff election – when drugs are widely used in rave parties. Acting on this task, the RIA Zonal Unit of the LDEA had put all of its focus on the foreigners coming to the country through the airport to reportedly supply some of the illegal substances.

One of the two foreigners, a 25-year old Nigerian identified as Friday Samuel Mbah, was trying to smuggle into Liberia 23 capsules of pure cocaine in his stomach when he was intercepted on January 13 at the RIA by on duty LDEA agents.

Meanwhile, an X-ray report showed at least two more pellets inside Mbah’s stomach.

The 23 cocaine pellets removed from suspect Mbah’s stomach

He was arrested and held at the medical facility until the drugs were removed from his system. It was not clear if the suspect allegedly ingested the drugs before or after his flight to Liberia.

Mbah is said to have been traveling from Malawi via Kenya Airways #KQ-502, and had a booking at a place in Caldwell, outside Monrovia, with another Nigerian national. LDEA director-general Anthony K. Souh put the estimated street value of Mbah’s ingested narcotic payload at US$16,000, an equivalent of L$2,076, 900.

According to Souh, Mbah had swallowed the 23 tube-like pellets of cocaine from Malawi “to evade our security network at the airport; but to Mbah’s surprise, he landed into our dragnet and was arrested.”

Although suspect Mbah has confessed to using himself as a ‘body courier’ to bring cocaine into the country, he is begging for mercy. However, LDEA information indicates that the suspect was due in Liberia during the election season last year, “and we have been on the lookout for him.”

“He was able to miss several flights from the time our international contacts gave us this information. Now, we got him, thanks to our international network.”

While undergoing preliminary investigation, Mbah gave his investigators the contact numbers of his partner in Liberia, one Joseph Yeaboah, and another Nigerian, alias Solomon, who was lured to the airport and also arrested.

Although suspect Yeaboah is helping the LDEA with their investigation, Souh has said that the two suspects will be sent to court as their respective charge sheet has already been prepared.

“The agency is still on the lookout for more of such smugglers coming to the country. We want to let the word go forth that nobody will take our happiness and peaceful transition of government for granted because we are rejoicing and they think that we have forgotten our mandate,” Souh assured. “Any attempt by anybody who wants to commit crime against our people will be equally disappointed as the two Nigerian nationals.”

In a related development, the LDEA has congratulated President-elect George Weah and Vice President-elect Jewel Howard Taylor for their victory.

The agency believes it was Senator Taylor who, on a lone mission, sponsored the Drug Law Bill through the 53rd Legislature that produced the now Controlled Drug and Substances Act and the LDEA Act—“first of its kind in the country.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. “Ninety-Nine Days for Thief, One Day for Master”.

    Notorious drug smugglers, mostly greedy get-rich-quick Nigerians, are still using this old aged “swallowing” drug tactics to smuggle drugs into Liberia. The United States and other Western Countries have cracked down heavily on such drug swallowing nonsense by intensifying their security apparatus at various ports of entries since the September 11, 2001 bombing of the twin towers in New York City.

    Because of tighter drug and weapon detection screening in those advance countries, these drugs smugglers have turned to African countries to do their dirty trade. They figure out that many airports in Africa do not have sophisticated drug detection machines to scan their bodies for drugs ingested into their stomachs.

    These Nigerian drug smugglers got it wrong this time. They got caught by the Liberian Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) working in conjunction with foreign drug agencies.

    One problem lies on Liberia’s porous border. These notorious drug smugglers are able to cross without detection. We need to be very vigilant in catching drug smugglers, terrorists, and other illicit activities entering into Liberia.

  2. We see a lots of stores and shops around Monrovia and surroundings towns owned and operated by Nigerians. This development is very nerve racking. When I visited Liberia in 2012, to my surprise, most of the shops were own and operated by Nigerians. I wonder, where are these guys getting the funds from and establishing these businesses. It is common now to see a Nigerian “BUSINESS MAN”, in his shop, behind his counter speaking Yoruba, Igbo or any Nigerian dialect on mobile phone laughing. Since the arrival and departure of the ECOMOG soldiers in Liberia, our country has turned to ‘DRUG DENT” , where gangs and thieves roam free with impunity.

    The Liberian senate need to pass a bill which will be enacted into law for zero tolerance on drug possession. West African drug cartels have turned away from South East Asia, mainly the Philippine, due to the “iron fist approach” Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has introduced in his country. They have turned their eyes on softer targets like Liberia and other poor West African countries.

    It is time for our government to act swiftly before it is too late. Any delay, will turn our country to the “El Paso of West Africa.

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