A false security alarm of smuggled arms and ammunition on two trucks from Guinea paralyzed normal customs activities at the main border in Ganta.
On October 19, a group of officers of the Trans National Crimes Unit (TNCU) of the Liberia National Police, headed by Alex Kromah, arrested the two trucks in Ganta for allegedly bringing arms and ammunition into the country.
The owners of the two vehicles had gone through customs formalities, including paying duties in line with the law.
Surprisingly, the Daily Observer learned that officers nonetheless arrested the trucks, claiming they were loaded with arms.
The trucks, as a result, were kept at the Ganta police station, on the instruction of police officers, creating panic among ordinary citizens and the business community, some of whom had their goods on the trucks in question.
To protect the goods on the trucks, customs collector Ephraim Miller asked the officers to offload the trucks at the border to see if there were arms and ammunition on board.
On Friday, October 20, the security apparatus, including officers of the TNCU, examined every load on the two trucks, but could not find any illegal item.
The search brought activities at the border post to a standstill, with people’s attention focused on the outcome of the TNCU allegation.
The security alarm, which turned out to be false, was only intended to intimidate and harass customers, according to a statement issued by B. Yahaya Kromah, a lawyer representing owners of the goods.
“My clients carried out all the customs formalities, but we were surprised to hear that there were arms and ammunition on board, although they could not find any,” he said.
Customs collector Ephraim Miller expressed disappointment with the false security alarm.
He said security officers who raised the alarm were all assigned in Monrovia and not in Ganta.
“Goods that enter this country go through examination and the required duties are paid to the government through customs. We were surprised to hear that these trucks contained arms or contraband goods,” he said.
The head of the TNCU, Alex Kromah, refused to talk to the press about the outcome of their finding, saying, “We do not make our report to the press.”