Zimbabwean, Guinea Bissauan Arrested with L$9M Illicit Drugs at RIA

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Vennia Hwedenga, a Zimbabwean and Toni Mendes, a Guinea Bissau national were arrested by officers of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) at the Roberts International Airport on (RIA) on Sunday, August 14, for illegal possession of narcotics and other illicit substances they allegedly brought into the country.

The two suspects are currently detained at the LDEA, undergoing investigations.

The 26-year-old female, who arrived on a Kenyan Airways flight, was apprehended after LDEA officers searched her belongings and discovered the illegal substances concealed in a black bag.

LDEA Acting Director-General Gwee K. Porkpah made the disclosure during a press conference at the agency’s headquarters in Monrovia yesterday.

The illegal substances, which weighed three Kilos and 142 grams, were tested to be heroin with a street value of L$9, 048,960 (US$94,260).

The LDEA also confirmed the arrest of Toni Mendes, a holder of a Guinea Bissauan passport, who entered the country on board a Royal Air Moroc flight on August 14.

Toni Mendes, 35, according to the LDEA, was arrested when his bag was searched and found to contain illegal substances placed among assorted female hair products.

The LDEA said the suspect “cleverly and criminally concealed the illegal drugs in the handle of the female hair products to beat security checks.”

The LDEA said the illegal substance was tested in the presence of officers of the United Nations Police (UNPOL), and was found to be cocaine.

Meanwhile, Acting Director Porkpah has appealed to Liberians and foreign nationals to report any incident of drug trafficking as well as any information regarding illegal drug activities within the borders of Liberia to the LDEA.

Porkpah said while the LDEA is working in the interest of the Liberian people, it will need the full support of citizens, foreign residents and the justice system to defeat the importation of illegal drugs into the country.

‘’The LDEA remains unbending, regardless of whoever is involved in the trade of dangerous and wants to reaffirm to the general public of our preparedness to make Liberia a drug-free nation,” Mr. Porkpah said.

He promised that the LDEA will leave no stone unturned in bringing would-be violators in the trafficking of illegal substance into the country to justice.

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