DEA Nabs 2 with Heroin

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Officers of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) over the weekend arrested another consignment of heroin at the DHL-Liberia central office in Monrovia, the second arrest in about two months.
According to the DEA, four persons have been identified – two Nigerians and two Liberians – as those allegedly responsible for the import of the drugs into the country.
The illicit drugs, valued at US$60,000, were neatly concealed in packages of hair products in DHL parcel number 1011647755, but were intercepted by DEA agents in Monrovia, DEA Director-General Anthony K. Souh disclosed. The shipment originated on Lilongwe, Malawi.
The illicit drugs, DEA said were discovered in cans of emptied UV Whitening cream (hair products).
Suspect Mariamatu Jalloh, who was later identified as Latetah T. Wilson, was arrested on August 13 at DHL-Liberia office on Broad Street by the DEA head of operations, Johntor Wolo, when the suspect went to take delivery of the parcel.
The incident resembled what occurred in early July, when DEA agents arrested two Nigerian men and a Liberian woman as they showed up at the DHL office in Monrovia to take delivery of a DHL parcel which contained a consignment of heroin.
The latest arrest – DHL parcel number 1011647755 – took a different turn when DEA officers later discovered during preliminary investigations that the parcel number was the same tracking number found with one other suspected drug-peddler, Gabriel Doe.
“When asked about the whereabouts of her consignment, Ms. Wilson (who was posing as a Fula woman named Mariamatu Jalloh) told the DEA officers that DHL staff informed her that her parcel was still at the Roberts International Airport. The DEA officers therefore accompanied her to RIA,” Director Souh disclosed to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview on Friday.
At the RIA, he said suspect Wilson (Jalloh) paid the customs duty for her “goods” and took delivery. It was then that DEA officers asked her to open the package in the presence of the joint security; revealing the contraband items, which were disguised as hair products.
Upon her arrest, she reportedly admitted to being the consignee of the package, but said it belongs to her boyfriend, a Nigerian only identified as Chigozie; “even though she had earlier admitted that the package was for her friend, who she also identified as Vivian Saytue,” the DEA boss said.
It may be recalled that in early July, officers of the DEA arrested two Nigerian men and a Liberian woman along with a quantity of heroin that was valued at L$1.2 million (US$14,532).
The illegal drugs shipment originated in Kampala, Uganda in a DHL package bearing tracking number 5505590814, and addressed to one Comfort Weah of Monrovia. 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.
Weah, a prime suspect, is said to be helping DEA agents with the investigation.
A local radio station reported that Weah and her associate had been released from custody. However, DEA Director Souh maintains that they are still in police custody, awaiting trial.
All efforts made through direct visit to the offices of the DHL on Friday to contact its Liberia General Manager, Akwasi Anninakwah, did not materialize. This newspaper was informed by a receptionist on three different occasions that the manager was “too busy” to talk with anyone up to press time last night.
A source familiar with DHL’s processes informed the Daily Observer later that while it should be the company’s responsibility to check all its packages for contraband, “it may not be realistically possible, as DHL ships hundreds of thousands of packages every day all around the world,” the source said. “However, the company does what it calls ‘random checks’ and that is how sometimes they are able to catch contraband items running through their system.


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