Vehicle Smuggling Deal at Border Backfires

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The smuggled vehicle in question is now 'impounded' at the Customs Post.

One police officer arrested for ‘smuggling vehicle’ in Ganta

Authorities at the Ganta Port of entry along the Liberian/Guinean border in Nimba County, on Friday, April 25, 2019, arrested a police officer, who was said to have clandestinely penetrated security corridors with a car in an attempt to evade tax.

Security source at the border informed the Daily Observer on Friday that the officer, Vamayan Kenneh of the Police Highway Patrol, entered the border with a police patrol car, marked 226 at about 1:13 p.m., under the pretext that he was going to speak to his loved one, who he claimed lived within the vicinity of the border.

The security at border said, while officer Kenneh was returning from the Guinean side of the border, he entered Liberia with a patrol car that has the siren on, followed by a white Ford Jeep, bearing a Guinea license plate, RC – 3855 – AM, forcibly penetrating the two gates without any of the officers assigned at the gate making any inquiry due to severity of sound from the siren.

“When he got to the police gate, almost to enter Liberia side of the gate, he ordered the gate be opened for the Ford Car to pass without reference to any of the officers, and also made the vehicle in question non-declared for duty payment,” said a police officer, who pleaded for anonymity.

Upon leaving the corridor of the port, officer Kenneh reportedly sped up with the vehicle heading for Monrovia.

“Before we could come to ourselves, the officer was already en-route to Monrovia, but we chased after him and his crew that were intersected around almost at the Ganta/Monrovia checkpoint; from where we brought them back to the Custom post to pay duty,” said one Sheriff, a police officer assigned at the border.

The car has since been impounded with the four tires deflated for fear that it would be removed overnight.

This is not the first time for such an act to have taken place at the border post.

It can be recalled that few years ago, a mini truck disappeared at the border under mysterious circumstance, after it was parked to pay the custom duty. What happened to the case remains unanswered, at least not to the knowledge of this newspaper’s investigation.

In the recent saga, other nearby residents are blaming the border authorities for being negligent, something many believed is a threat to national security.

“On many occasions we see uniformed officers on board vehicles crossing the border, whether they go through the normal procedures is yet to be established,” said an eyewitness at the border.

Due to the proximity of Ganta to the borderline, it is alleged that most of the motorcycle dealers around the city brought in their goods (bikes) through smuggling method under the cover of darkness, specifically during the dry season, when the St. John River that borders the two countries from that entry point gets dried, thus giving way to travelers to walk over the main source.

Series of efforts to get the Custom Collector officially to speak on the latest incident did not materialize because he claimed not to be clothed with authority to address the issue. However, the smuggling of goods, including vehicles have overshadowed activities at the border crossing points.

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