The Office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has explained that the Police vehicle recently arrested in Cape Mount by security officers while transporting marijuana from Sierra Leone was no longer a part of the Presidential motorcade as has been widely reported.
According to the Executive Mansion, the vehicle in question, which is marked “POLICE ESCORT,” was an escort vehicle that was decommissioned over two years ago from the Presidential motorcade.
It was at that point returned to the Liberia National Police (LNP), and was being replaced by another vehicle marked only as “PRESIDENTIAL ESCORT.”
It is this vehicle that is presently used by the police to clear the way ahead of the Presidential vehicles.
Over the weekend the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), in collaboration with other Joint security officers at the Liberia/Sierra Leone border in Tienne, Grand Cape Mount County, busted a new drug cartel. The joint security team allegedly arrested one Perry Dolo, a police officer, said to be in possession of nearly US$50,000 worth of “compressed marijuana.”
The arrested man is reported to be the Liberian leader’s motorcade commander.
But the Executive Mansion clarified that Police Officer Perry Dolo is not the head of the presidential motorcade of the Liberian President, as was reported; the Executive Mansion explained that the Presidential Motorcade is a combination of the various security vehicles, which is headed by the Executive Protection Service (EPS). But it (the Executive Mansion) said nothing about whether or not Mr. Dolo is still assigned to the present team of officers assigned to Ellen’s motorcade.
But many have been wondering why the decommissioned presidential vehicle, turned over to the LNP about two years ago, had not had the ‘Escort’ moniker removed at that time—or since.
The Executive Mansion, however, commended the Joint Security for the weekend arrests of individuals, including security personnel of Liberia and Sierra Leone, suspected of drug-trafficking.
The Liberian leader has expressed her satisfaction over the swift action of the Joint Security as well, that led to the arrest of Perry Dolo and Cyrus Slewion of the Liberia National Police.
A Sierra Leonean military officer, a businessman, a taxi driver, and an ex-military personnel, were also reportedly caught in the dragnet at the Tiene checkpoint, about 20km inside Liberia from the main Liberia-Sierra Leone border checkpoint.
Meanwhile, the Executive Mansion has frowned on drug traffickers and instructed the Joint Security to increase its vigilance in bringing all drug dealers to book.
However, security officers, who carried out the operation said that the marijuana cache was compressed and secretly placed at the back seat of one of the vehicles that had found its ways into the convoy that was intercepted and subsequently detained at Tienne, Grand Cape Mount County, near the Liberia/Sierra Leone border.
Also arrested with Commander Dolo was one Sierra Leonean military personnel, a Guinean National and another Liberian.
The Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Anthony K. Souh, disclosed that Commander Dolo had constantly used one of the presidential escort vehicles, marked “Presidential Escort,” to reportedly import illegal drugs from Sierra Leone into Liberia.
Director Souh said that the nature of the case is grave, especially using a presidential car; he wants those arrested, including Dolo, to be speedily sent to court for prosecution.
Sources at the Tienne border indicated that the arrested security officer, Perry Dolo, has been in the constant habit of allegedly committing the act by bull-dozing his way through the Liberia/Sierra Leonean border—using a presidential escort vehicle—under the pretext of having been sent on an official assignment.
It was a local resident only identified as Minneh, who mobilized other members of the Joint Security, set up Commander Dolo, and apprehended him when he reportedly returned to Liberia with his cache (supply) of the marijuana aboard the presidential vehicle.
“The arrest of suspect Dolo was done in collaboration with Tienne community members, who were upset that a presidential motorcade commander could use a presidential escort vehicle to engage in this kind of criminal activity,” the DEA has observed.
The DEA is charged with fighting drug trafficking at the country's borders, arresting traffickers and dealers, and destroying illegal drugs. According to DEA boss Anthony K. Souh, the agency nevertheless suffers from substantial internal strife, such as the lack of legislation to allow his agency stronger teeth with which to bite.