Due to the arrival or entry of large numbers of foreign nationals in Grand Kru County, reportedly in search of gold and diamond minerals, the joint security, headed by authorities of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), has raised concerns, thereby drawing the attention of local authorities.
The coming of the aliens, most of whom are illegal miners, according to the LIS, has prompted the agency to intensify border patrols across the County.
Grand Kru County LIS Commander of the Border Patrol Unit Prince Tobee has, therefore, disclosed a plan the agency formulated, including, but not limited to, keeping Surveillance Patrol, beginning Tuesday, April 24.
The LIS Grand Kru County Detachment moves to intensify patrols in the wake of warning from the agency’s Commissioner General, Lemuel E. Reeves, seriously alerting security personnel assigned in the County to stop the illegal entry of foreign nationals into the country.
Reeves wants aliens who are already in the country, and those desirous of coming into the country to, henceforth, comply with the Alien and Nationality Law of Liberia, “or else, government will have to apply legal recourse.”
In keeping with the tentative schedule of the Surveillance Patrol, issued under the signature of Tobee, a copy of which is in possession of this newspaper, the LIS said there will be an intensive patrol in the Sass Town Region and its environs, including surveillance patrol at the Buah Region.
Additionally, the scheduled patrol will include Barclayville City, the County’s political capital, and its environs. This, accordingly, will be intensively inspected, while there will be an intensive patrol of the entire Forpoh Region, where gold and diamond minerals are heavily concentrated.
“It is not just our duty to admit or prevent foreigners into the country, but also to monitor their activities, to ensure that what they are doing are in consonance with what they claimed they are here to do,” Tobee told the Daily Observer via mobile phone yesterday.
“The intensive surveillance patrol will follow a series of other patrols to control only the start-up and….. its our plan,” the LIS officer assured.
A security personnel, who begged for anonymity, spoke of the need for effective border management as there are reports of illegal entry of aliens into the country’s porous borders.
For that, the LIS has indicated its preparedness to tackle cross border crimes, including human trafficking and other irregular migration activities, to contain illegal mining enterprises.
But the lack of logistics and equipment, along with training and a congenial (friendly, pleasant) working environment, are hindering the effectiveness of the LIS. This, according to Mr. Reeves, requires government’s intervention.
Some of the officers are of the opinion that erecting physical border controls, infrastructures, human resource, legislation, well-designed procedures and trained staff, as well as innovative technologies, are crucial for LIS’ officers to provide needed services at the borders.
It may be recalled that Grand Kru County District 2 Representative Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa told a news conference recently that the illegal mining of gold and diamond is on the rise in his district, a situation, he said, poses a serious security threat to the residents.
The Chairman on the House’s Committee on National Security Representative Alfred Koiwood of Gbarpolu County, via mobile phone yesterday, said, “the reported influx of illegal aliens and/or foreigners nationwide, specifically in mineral rich communities, raises concern among his colleagues, particularly law enforcement agencies, including the lawmakers who are the direct representatives of the people.”
“We hope this issue will be addressed by our joint security personnel through the LIS, because when we return to session at the end of the Esther break, we expect reports of the situation from security sectors, if we should see the need to summon them.”