LDEA Destroys L$72M Drugs

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The International Day Against Drug Abuse is observed every year on June 26. This year’s program, under the theme, “Health for Justice, Justice for Health,” was witnessed by international and local partners.

— Observes int’l day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking

Authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) have announced the burning of illicit substances valued over L$37,849,741 in 11 of the 15 counties. According to the LDEA, Montserrado County alone accounts for drugs valued over L$35 million.

LDEA authorities made the disclosure on Wednesday, June 26, 2919 at the program marking this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, held at the Monrovia City Hall.

The day is observed every year on June 26. This year’s program, under the theme, “Health for Justice, Justice for Health,” was witnessed by international and local partners.

Marcus Soko, LDEA director-general, warned Liberians of consuming illicit drugs, which he said has continued to destroy some of the youthful population.

“We warn the student community not to engage in illicit drugs and the use of harmful substances,” Soko said.

According to him, using the illicit drugs, a habit that may of the youth have adopted, can destroy brains. “Because as they continue to take the illicit drugs, their bodies continue to decline,” he said.

Mr. Soko then assured the public of the agency crackdown on those bringing some of the dangerous substances into the country. The importers are not only harming the country, but are helping to destroy the young people.

“We warn the student community not to engage in illicit drugs and the use of harmful substances,” Soko said.

Stephen Kissik said the United States Government is pleased to support activities covering this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Mr. Kissik is the deputy director of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section (INL), and Senior Police Advisor at the United States Embassy in Monrovia.

“We support you and will continue to support the government to achieve its goal of providing safety, security, and the rule of law to all Liberians,” he assured.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse is supported each year by people and communities not just in Liberia, but all over the world to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs present to society.

Mr. Kissik said INL will continue to work closely with the authorities of the LDEA and other civilian law enforcement and justice institutions by combating drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

He said Liberia can better protect its people from the danger of illicit drugs by introducing an integrated strategy that will include well-trained and well-prepared civilian law enforcement services, an independent judiciary and robust health and social services response.

Journalist Jallah E. Grayfield, who served as the keynote speaker, called for a strong and non-bailable drug law to be passed by the legislature as one of several measures to put an end to the influx of harmful substances on the Liberian market.

“It is no secret that substances abuse continues to be a major factor of mental derangement, and social disorder, mainly among the young people, thereby promoting crimes,” Grayfield said.

He named rape and armed robbery as some of the crimes that are most often committed under the influence of drug abuse.

According to him, efforts by the LDEA in battling such activities have yielded very little or no results, “just because of logistical constrains and the law to punish suspected drug dealers.”

Mr. Grayfield said the drug law passed by the legislature remains very weak and emptied to handle those allegedly involved into taking illicit drugs and even those marketing some of the harmful substances.

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