A Guinean national drowned in the St. John River near the Gbuyee detour to the Ganta-Guinea port of entry in Nimba County while allegedly smuggling several motorcycles over to the Liberian side.
The incident, which occurred on December 8, drew the attention of security personnel and nearby residents who trooped to the scene seeking further information from locals.
The Daily Observer learnt that prior to his drowning, Mamajar Barry, a Fulani, was smuggling the motorcycles in a small makeshift canoe with the aid of one Jackson Gbolay. Gbolay was later identified as an Action Agent (AA) to the Ganta detachment of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalizaion (BIN).
Shortly after news of Barry’s drowning got out, tension rose among security agents who blamed the immigration officer for reportedly aiding the smuggling deal without the knowledge of the joint security.
“They may have been in this kind of deal for a long time; this is why God moved from behind them,” a security officer loosely remarked.
The motorbikes, according to eyewitnesses, were smuggled into Liberia early in the day. But as Barry guided the goods on his canoe, it “unfortunately capsized,” they said.
Barry’s corpse was not found until two days later following a vigorous search by community divers assisted by the local Guinean authority. The Guineans took delivery of the body and buried it on their side of the border.
Meanwhile, the four motorbikes Barry reportedly smuggled into Liberia prior to his drowing have been turned over to the Ganta Police Detachment.
Efforts to get comments from the immigration authorities remain futile as the phone of the Detail Commander in Ganta was off. When this reporter visited the Detail Commander’s office at the border, neither he nor the Operations Officer was present to comment on the incident.