The Monrovia City Court has incarcerated at the Monrovia Central Prison at least 14 Ghanaians on charges of theft of property, violation of the Penal Law and Forestry Law and the Alien Nationality Law of Liberia.
The 14 Ghanaians include George Agya Pong, Kofi Ywayo, Amos Anom, Boateng Yam, Samuel Opoku, and Moses Domeh. Others are Robert Kwuaku, Eric Yam, Kwauku Safo, Kwesi Asare, Kofi Agore, Damkwah Joseph, Kwabena Adu and Kwabena Afaa.
They were on May 21 arrested by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) assisted by the Emergency Response Unit of the Liberia National Police and forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN).
The BIN charge sheet quoted by the Liberia News Agency (LINA) indicated that prior to the date of the arrests they received a tip-off that the defendants “illegally entered the Glio-Glarro Forest between Grand Gedeh and Rivergee Counties, which is also a part of the Grebo National Park without the consent of citizens of the area and state authorities.
The charge sheet further said the defendants were criminally cutting down some of the reserved (Garcenia Afzelii) trees without the necessary license permits and other instruments of authorization.
The charge added that the accused also failed to pay the required revenue taxes.
The BIN charge sheet noted that the defendants have been cutting down trees in the forest since 2010 up to their arrest and transporting them into La Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana for their “self-aggrandizement” before they were arrested.
During preliminary investigations, the defendants reportedly admitted and confessed to the allegation, adding that they were hired and sent to Liberia by their bosses whom they named as Chris Adade, Kofi Boateng and Kwesi Philips to cut down the “chewing sticks” and transport them to Ghana for sale. They said the tree is important to Ghanaians and other Africans.
The suspects are currently in detention at the Monrovia Central Prison pending court trial.
In another development, officers of the Gbarpolu County Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) detachment arrested a Nigerian national with a dangerous powdered chemical used to produce “sedative drugs.”
LINA quoted the county’s DEA Commander in Gbarpolu, Emmanuel Pettiquoi, as saying that suspect Iygiensiu Okali was arrested at the Kopansue security check-point with the chemical dust inserted in a loaf of bread.
Pettiquoi told LINA Gbarpolu correspondent that during preliminary investigations, the suspect confessed to investigators that the substance was glucose powder dust used to process tar, a locally consumed substance, and not chemical dust as suspected by the DEA.
Further investigation by the DEA official could not establish the estimated street value of the substance, “because the matter is still being investigated.”
Meanwhile, suspect Iygiensiu has been detained at the Bopolu Central Prison awaiting trial at the 16th Judicial Circuit Court.