United Nations Offices on Drugs and Crimes (NODC) yesterday handed over to authorities at the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), two brand new Toyota pickups and other equipment valued at US$80,000.
This is one of the UN agencies leading the fight against illicit drugs and international crime, with the mandate to assist member states in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. NODC is leading the effort jointly with our international partners, notably the United States of America State Department and their Embassy accredited near this capital with significant contribution of funds.
The UNODC affirmed its commitment to enhance the law enforcement agencies of Liberia such as DEA and the Trans International Crime Unit (TCU) to be efficient, solid and reliable antinarcotics or organized crime agencies.
The donation includes computer lab training equipment as well as uniforms and other crime fighting resources.
The UNODC Representative to Liberia, Jesus Agvilar Cereno, in his presentation statement said, the vehicles and other equipment donated to the DEA signify a strong dedication and collective commitment to building a modern, efficient internal security and criminal investigation system.
The equipment and the vehicles are to further empower the DEA to cope with challenges of transnational crime, organized crime, drugs trafficking that are taking advantage of the country’s vulnerabilities, which can undermine the country’s stability and development efforts.
“With capable human resources and adequate equipment DEA is prepared to address the challenges of organized crime and drug trafficking in the Liberian society, in collaboration with other societies in the region in matters related to transnational crime,” Mr. Cereno stated.
According to him, transnational organized crime is a global threat, “since organized crimes take roots to destabilize countries and whole regions.”
However, he said, the threat that transnational` organized crime, notable drug trafficking in the country and the region can be mitigate by making additional efforts towards strengthening law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, UNODC has reiterated its commitment to continue the enhancing and modernization of law enforcement agencies in the country.
In his response, DEA Director, Anthony K. Souh, expressed gratitude on behalf of the staff and officers of the agency for the donations.
“With open hands and hearts, we are glad to receive these materials because they are coming at a time when we need them the most,” Director Souh declared.
Earlier, Mr. Cereno presented keys of the vehicles to the Assistant Justice Minister for Administration, Wheatonia Dixon Barnes, who in turned presented them to the DEA Director. She however warned that the items and vehicles presented should be used for their intended purposes.