In the wake of the United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) drawdown, a joint security team comprising members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Liberia National Police (LNP), and Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS) yesterday stormed the Ministry of Defense building in Congo Town, Monrovia, in search of suspected drug addicts.
According to security sources, the building’s notoriety has surpassed the much-talked about and densely populated Peace Island community in Congo Town, commonly known as “540.”
The Liberians were backed by their outgoing UNMIL counterparts.
Several of the suspected addicts arrested in yesterday’s raid were immediately turned over to the LNP for processing and their subsequent hand-over to court, the Daily Observer was informed.
Traffic connecting the main road to the Congo Town back road came to a standstill as commuters stood agape witnessing the event.
However, according to sources, yesterday’s operations were intended to search, seize and arrest suspected drug addicts and hardened criminals.
The exercise, the sources continued, has been carried out in several communities in Monrovia and other commercial districts, and is expected to continue in the coming weeks.
Our sources hinted that the operation became a necessity because security forces have observed that the country is gradually becoming a potential haven for transnational drug dealers and traffickers.
“The reason is because the country has porous borders that anyone can penetrate without the security noticing.”
Prior to yesterday’s search, there had been widespread rumors that the abandoned Defense Ministry structure hosts an unspecified number of drug addicts and hardened criminals.
Residents of the surrounding communities told the Daily Observer that until yesterday’s exercise, the building was inhabited by hardcore criminals, who made the area a no-go zone for them.
“We have been very afraid to inform security people about the bad conditions around here as most of the suspected criminals over there continue to threaten our homes,” said a gentleman who identified himself as Morton.
A female resident disclosed that they had remained silent on the situation owing to the fact that they have to protect their lives and properties from the marauding gangs that terrorize their communities.
One resident described the move by the joint security squad as “timely” and urged the government and its partners to sustain the search operations in all parts of Monrovia and extend them across the country.