U.S. Renews Pledge to Help Fight Illicit Drugs

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Amb. Malac with DEA Director-General Souh.jpg

United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, yesterday charged authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to remain vigilant in the discharge of their duty to fight against the importation of illicit drugs and its related crimes in the country.

Based on her charge, Ambassador Malac renewed the U.S. Government’s commitment to ensure that Liberia becomes a no-go zone for drug traffickers, “even though the challenges are enormous.”

In light of DEA’s recent level of fight against trans-national and drug-related crimes, the U.S. Envoy further assured DEA authorities that the U.S. Government will not relent in its efforts to render assistance to the agency.

“We are inspired by your recent fight against the importation of illicit drugs into the country, and because you don’t sit down in the face of the huge constraints, which include security and finance, we are with you,” Amb. Malac reaffirmed.

She said in spite of the challenges, the DEA has done a lot of good work in the fight against illicit drug deals and its related crimes such that the U.S was grateful to the present administration.

Although she recognized that the fight against the importation of illicit drugs into any given country is a long term effort that is tempting, Amb. Malac urged the agents to stand up and act with integrity and demonstrate professionalism.

She made the commitment yesterday when she paid a courtesy call on authorities of the DEA in Fiamah, Sinkor, where she also underscored the need for her government to continue partnering with the LDEA as the drawdown plan by peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) progresses.

To ensure that the partnership succeeds, the Federal Government has assigned Ron Fleming, U.S. State Department Counter Narcotic INL Advisor to the DEA. INL, like the DEA, works to keep their country safe by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad.

Earlier in his welcome remark, Director-General, Anthony K. Souh, expressed the DEA’s gratitude to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia for the assistance it continues to render the agency.

He assured Ambassador Malac, whose visit was climaxed with an indoor discussion, that the DEA will fight against illicit drugs coming into the country no matter the difficulties and the many hurdles involved.

The LDEA, like its U.S. equivalent, operates under the Ministry of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within Liberia. Not only is the DEA the lead agency for domestic enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act, but they share concurrent jurisdiction with the officers of the
Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, and the Customs. It has the sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing the country’s drug investigations.

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