…Seeks partnership with communities to fight influx of illegal substances
Authorities of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) have destroyed over 24 kilograms of illicit drugs the agency reportedly confiscated from traffickers this year.
The illicit drugs, which included cocaine, heroin, marijuana, precursor and methamphetamine, were burnt simultaneously at different locations across the country by LDEA officers during recent ceremonies marking this year’s International Drug Day.
LDEA puts the value of the total 8.034kg of cocaine destroyed to US$464,100; the 9.378kg of heroin at US$257, 670; the 3.889kg of marijuana at US$291,375; and the 1.906kg of methamphetamine at US$133, 420.
The destruction of the illegal substances coincided with the celebration of the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, celebrated annually in June to create awareness and emphasis on the hazards of drug addiction and illicit trafficking. However, this year’s occasion was delayed as a result of financial constraints the LDEA was facing.
At the celebration held in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, LDEA director general Anthony K. Souh said governments around the world have the responsibility to counteract drug trafficking and abuse, but residents of the communities can also make major contributions to the fight against illicit substances by passing information to relevant security agencies.
Mr. Souh noted that families, schools, civil society groups and religious organizations also have an important role to play in the eradication of drugs from Liberia, especially from communities where suspected ‘ghettos’ (drug dens) are being erected.
Souh stressed the need for businesses to help provide legitimate livelihoods; therefore, he called on the media to intensify awareness on the dangers drugs pose to the society.
“Drugs and crimes are now viewed as a disturbing obstruction to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goals 3 and 16,” he added.
Goals 3 and 16 are components that talk about health and peace respectively.
Mr. Souh assured the public that the LDEA will work closely with partners to prevent drugs and the profits accrued from crimes from taking hold in Liberia, “because they undermine development, peace and human rights.”
The recent ceremony brought together representatives of various security agencies, members of the civil society organizations as well as students representing several schools operating under the Monrovia Consolidating School System.