Authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) yesterday burned about 8,159 Kg of home-grown Marijuana, 191 grams of cocaine and 149 grams of heroin valued over US$673, 464 in Monrovia. Some of the illicit substances that wouldn’t burn were taken apart and physically destroyed by the LDEA agents in full view of the public.
“The ceremony that characterized the burning and the destruction of the illicit substances yesterday climaxed activities that officially marked the observance of this year’s International Drug Day in the country,” LDEA Director, Anthony K. Souh, told those who turned out en-masse, including LDEA’s foreign partners, for the occasion.
Of the illicit substances the LDEA destroyed yesterday, Nimba County alone accounted for about 4, 843 kilograms of marijuana, 10 grams of heroin, followed by Bong County with 1,110 Kg of the home-grown marijuana.
The rest, LDEA said, was arrested from the 13 counties of which Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties accounted the highest grades of cocaine and heroin.
According to Director Souh, “Some of those illicit substances were arrested from dealers and cultivators across the country, while some were arrested from the end users over a period from January to June this year.”
This year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and its illicit trafficking under the theme: “Think Health Not Drugs,” was scheduled for Sunday, June 26, but the celebration was officially proclaimed yesterday (Wednesday).
Drug abuse and its illicit-trafficking have posed major problems to the human race and millions of people worldwide continue to be affected directly and indirectly.
The proclamation is in consonance with an Act of National Legislature adopted in 1999 creating the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), with the authority to combat the importation, illicit trafficking and use of dangerous drugs.
The observance of the day is intended to create awareness of the devastating effects of illicit drugs on individuals and families and to mobilize communities and other stakeholders against the use of such substances.
On December 7, 1987, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 42/112, which set aside the 26th day of June of each year as International Day Against Illicit Trafficking of Drugs and other Substances of Abuse, and it is celebrated worldwide.
The occasion yesterday started with a street parade, which brought together the LDEA, the Liberia National Police, officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the student community.
Earlier, the keynote speaker, Augustine Tamba, President of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), said it was troubling when the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) draws down and the country’s national security assumes the responsibilities to control the borders, ports of entries, cities, towns and villages in the wake of the growing wave of transnational and national crimes including drug-trafficking.
Mr. Tamba, among other things, recommended to the mission that except for special operations, the LDEA should reduce the presence of uniform officers to gather precise, accurate and prompt information for quick reaction; that the LDEA take into account the use of technological instruments to track down illicit drug traffickers, etc.