The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) yesterday announced the immediate dismissal of five of its senior officers for allegedly engaging in “acts incompatible with the code of conduct of the Agency and Criminal Law of Liberia.”
DEA Director-General, Anthony K. Souh, who made the disclosure yesterday at a press conference in Monrovia, said the Agency will forward the dismissed officers to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for court prosecution.
“While we are trying diligently to bring sanity to the country in the wake of United Nations Mission of Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown from the country, there some bad apples among us undermining our security sector and, therefore, we have with immediate effect dismissed the five so far caught in the act of extortions,” Director Souh said.
He identified the dismissed officers as Prince Harris, chief of intelligence, Sebastine Gibson, deputy chief of training, Darius Davies, secretary to the Board of Internal Investigations and Professional Standards, Albert Hare, deputy chief investigator, and Eugene Quiah, chief of operations assigned in Bong County.
“The affected officers,” Director Souh said, “were allegedly involved in extortions and receiving bribes,” from illicit drug peddlers.
In a related development, the DEA has made several arrests in Monrovia and Grand Bassa counties, respectively.
According to Director Souh, on November 13, the DEA detachment in Grand Bassa County, under the command of Major Joseph Tageddine arrested one Edward Gyasi, a Ghanaian National, with seven large-size rice bags (referred to as ‘Balawala Bags’) of home-grown marijuana that amounted to 198 kilograms.
“The drugs,” he said, are valued at L$891,000 or US$10,360, and that “during our preliminary investigation, Edward Gyasi admitted to being in possession and sale of the illicit drugs.”
Suspect Gyasi reportedly told the DEA upon his arrest that, “he started this business since 2014 until present, admitting further that he gets his supplies from an unnamed neighboring country via motorbike to Buchanan through Nimba and Bong counties.”
Also, on November 14, the DEA detachment in the City of Brewerville, outside Monrovia, under the command of Major Buster Jolon, arrested one Patrick Nimely, 18, through a writ of search and seizure warrant, with 138 grams of Heroin worth L$242, 950, or US$2,825. The Heroin, he said, was arrested along with 565 grams of chemical precursor with street value of L$138, 000.
According to the DEA Director, during the preliminary investigation, Nimely, also an 11th grade student of D. Tweh High School, and a resident of New Kru Town, Monrovia, admitted that, the Heroin was given to him by his brother-in-law to sell for 25 percent commission.
Additionally, Director Souh said, on November 16, at 12:45 a.m. the DEA Special Drug Squad stationed in Monrovia received a tip-off from its highway surveillance crew that a marked truck bearing plate number C-3, which was being followed from Gbarnga to Monrovia by the crew, was spotted in Jacob Town, Paynesville trying to offload a huge quantity of marijuana.
The crew, he said, arrested one Musa Saysay, who confessed to the crime.
“The truck full with marijuana contained 39 large Balawala Bags equivalent to 2,145 kilograms with the street value of L$9,652,500 or US$112,238. Investigation is ongoing with the hope of send the suspects to court as soon as possible,” Director Souh promised.
Meanwhile, suspects Saysay and Nimely have admitted to the allegation promising never to return to trade if the agency forgives them.
The driver of the truck, Papa Zubah, admitted his involvement and said he charged Suspect Saysay L$70,000 to transport him to Monrovia with his “goods.” He, too, pleaded for mercy.
However, Director Souh used the occasion yesterday to recommit to the fight against illicit drugs in and around the country, adding, “We will not compromise nor relent in doing what is right in making Liberia a drug-free Nation.”