The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in Liberia yesterday donated assorted office equipment and logistical support to authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA).
The items, according to William T. Thompson, the UNODC national project officer, are valued at about US$25,000.
The donated items included one 50KVA Perkins generator; five brand new Suzuki off-road motorbikes; scales to measure illegal drugs; forensic equipment; four laptops; four desktop computers; and four printers.
Other items are three photocopiers; three cameras; two audio recorders; one video recorder; and 100 crime fighting-related gadgets, with cases of outer-security belts.
The items, Thompson said, are to help the LDEA strengthen and decentralize its reporting capacity between headquarters and the leeward counties.
“Statistics and records the UNODC collected in the recent history of the LDEA have shown that fighting drug-related crimes in the country is difficult,” Thompson said, adding, because of that, his office was donating the equipment to enhance the effectiveness of the LDEA across the country.
He said it is also difficult for the entity to gather vital intelligence and profile suspected drug peddlers; and therefore, it was important that his office donated the gadgets for the LDEA to keep proper statistics and records on drug-related crimes.
Thompson said without modern crime fighting equipment, the LDEA will not be able to keep records, “thus a statistics and records center is of utmost importance.”
He said that the expected results of the donation are to enhance the operational performance of LDEA personnel; to establish a new system for undertaking and reporting drug statistics; to increase the intelligence capacity and cooperation between the LDEA and other law enforcement agencies and to decrease the number of illegal narcotics on the streets of Liberia.
He said the donation was necessary because the LDEA wants to make Liberia a drug-free country, “therefore the UNODC was encouraged to donate the items to enable the entity to continue the fight against illegal drugs and suspected transnational crimes.”
The donation, he said, were made possible with the support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) through its advisor assigned with the LDEA, Rom Fleming of the US Embassy in Monrovia.
For his part, Anthony K. Souh, LDEA Director General, praised the UNODC for their unwavering and tireless support, both in materials and training, to the LDEA over the years.
Souh recognized the UNODC and other partners’ efforts to enhance the capacity of the LDEA, adding that the materials donated will be used for their intended purposes.
Director Souh meanwhile challenged LDEA personnel to continue fighting the proliferation of illegal substances on the Liberian market without fear or favor to gain the trust and confidence of the public as well as their international partners.
“I urge you to work harder than ever before to rid the country of dangerous psychotropic substances, which are harmful to the youthful population,” Souh said.
He admonished the officers to whom the motorbikes will be assigned, to adhere to their proper usage and maintenance.
He said drug trafficking brings about vices, like money laundering, which require vigilance in the fight against drug trafficking in the country.