3 Nabbed for Heroin Trafficking via DHL

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Officers of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have arrested two Nigerian men and a Liberian woman along with a quantity of heroin and valued at LS1.2 million (US$14,532).
The two Nigerians arrested by the DEA are Uche Ude, 34, and Charles Akaolisa, 40 who both operate spare parts businesses in Monrovia. The woman, 23 year-old Comfort Weah, is the girlfriend of Ude.
The drugs, according to DEA Director-General Anthony K. Souh, was brought into the country from Kampala, Uganda on DHL packages bearing tracking numbers 5505590814 and 06282015, and addressed to Comfort Weah of Monrovia. Comfort, a prime suspect, is helping DEA agents with the investigation.
The DEA arrested Ms. Weah at the DHL offices on Broad Street where she had gone to pick up the parcels containing the illegal drugs.
“When she noticed that she was being tailed by DEA undercover agents, she managed to escape the scene, but left her marketing ID card and her voter’s registration card, through which she was traced and arrested,” DEA said.
The drugs were reportedly sent to one Nigerian, Uche Ude, 34, by one Mataka Hope, also a Nigerian residing in Kampala, and was intercepted by the DEA on July 1 at DHL head office on Broad Street, Monrovia.
Ude is the boyfriend of Comfort Weah, a relationship that has produced two children. Comfort is seven months pregnant with Ude’s third child.
According to Mr. Ude, he got connected to the deal through his Nigerian friend, Charles Akaolisa, 40, a resident of Battery Factory. All the accused persons, except Comfort Weah, have admitted to reporters of being connected to the deal and have therefore pleaded for mercy from authorities.
“The delivery of the illegal drug was made possible as a result of factual intelligence conveyed to the DEA by its Ugandan counterpart in Kampala,” Director Souh disclosed at a news conference.
He however informed journalists that upon the arrest of the items, the DEA requested the DHL Management to bring forth the items for observation and photographing.
He said his mandate was adhered to by the DHL, “and afterwards, same was turned over written by DEA and submitted to DHL General Manager, Akwasi Anninakwah—a Ghanaian national for safekeeping until the next day.”
He said in continuation of the investigation, on July 1, after a letter was written by the DEA and submitted to DHL, the package was turned over to DEA for further probe.
Thereafter, he revealed that it was opened and all assorted items were exhibited and thoroughly searched in the presence of the DHL Liberia Country Manager and his security staff.
The drugs were systematically sealed in several cans of UV whitening cream hair product. The cream had been removed and replaced with the drugs.
Meanwhile, Director Souh said those arrested in connection with the drugs would face prosecution.
In the new drug law, under the title, “Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of 2014”, a person commits an offense if he/she knowingly imports into Liberia any controlled drugs or substances.
The crime in keeping with section 14.101 under the unlicensed importation of controlled drugs or substances, a person is not entitled to bail, because the offense that person is arrested for is a second degree felony.
However, when contacted yesterday, DHL Major Customer Executive, Kenneth Bedell, denied ever hearing of the arrest of the drugs at his Broad Street office.
Mr. Bedell then referred the Daily Observer to the office of the General Manager, Akwasi Anninakwah. However the receptionist, having heard about the reason for the requested meeting with the manager, said her boss was busy and to “come next time.”
DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international express mail services. Deutsche Post is the world’s largest logistics company operating around the world. Being a leader in global in express shipping, the company has a very conspicuous presence on the African continent.

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