The Drugs Enforcement Agency of Liberia or DEA has expressed serious frustration over court judgment at the Temple of Justice on how they go about issuing bonds to people who commit crimes in Liberia.
According to the DEA, for every time arrests of drug traffickers are executed and perpetrators turned over to the court for prosecution, there are no straight or substantive bonds to release such perpetrators. Appearing at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill during its weekly press briefing on Thursday, June 23, 2016, the Director of the DEA, Mr. Anthony K. Suoh, said: “every time the DEA makes an arrest of people that commit felony of the first degree crime in Liberia and send them to court to face trail, no one can tell how they get release or on what basis they continue to be release, as well as the kind of
bond that can release them in this country.”
“Our drug law is very clear that anyone who is being caught transporting drugs or caught in possession with such has committed a crime; you will be charged with felony of the first degree crime under our law, and there, the punishment is to face the full weight of the law by going to court,” he said, noting: “ many at times these things happen, and no one seems to tell what is responsible; and I think one of our major problems we have here is the issue of pre-trail detention.”
The DEA Director described the issue of the use of illicit drugs in every street corner of the Liberian society as a great threat, saying: “therefore, we as citizens must work with collaborative efforts by reporting any case of drugs, because it is these drugs that are responsible for many of our young people who are on the streets; it is responsible of some of those who are insane. The youths are the most vulnerable group engaged in this act”.
“We cannot blame them – simply because they’re just taking it in, but our focus is on those who are in the habit of transporting these drugs to our country wherein our youths go and buy them,” he pointed out, emphasizing that as part of the DEA’s efforts in containing the transportation of drugs into Liberia, it has opened a detachment at the Roberts International Airport and National Port Authority to help put the act under control.
According to Director Suoh, the goal of establishing the detachments at the RIA and NPA is to ensure extensive and vigorous screening because many people have access to such ports of entry. He also noted that there were traffickers who bring in narcotic substances in their bodies, especially the stomach and other parts – something the DEA must address.
It can be recalled that The DEA detachment assigned at the Roberts International Airport, a few months ago, arrested a national of Guinea Bissau for attempting to enter the country with narcotic substances. Antonio Gomes was arrested with four kilograms of cocaine valued at US$ 34,000 equivalent to LD$2,240,000.00 – an arrest effected less than three weeks following the arrest of a Nigerian national-Chukwu Samuel Onuoha, with a huge quantity of drugs at the RIA.
Suspect Gomes reportedly boarded a Kenyan Airways flight number 5539 to Accra, Ghana, from where he transited at the RIA.