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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

LDEA digitizes drug war 

The new system is set up to provide a clearer picture of the challenges in the fight against drugs and enable the LDEA to feed its international partners with the necessary information.

Kruah Thompson 

Monrovia, May 16, 2024: Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) Director General Col. Abraham Kromah has announced the establishment of LDEA’s data system to record the number of persons on drugs in ghettos across Liberia.

He disclosed the measure on Wednesday, 15 May 2024, on a local radio station in Monrovia. Col. Kromah indicated that the data system will tell how many people are in each ghetto.

He detailed that, for example, when an arrest is made in Pleebo, Maryland County, the system will inform him the same day.

According to him, anytime an arrest is made in any of the country’s regions, the system establishes contact through a chain between the county commander and the regional commander.

He indicated that the chain continues to the operation assistant director, who works with the Leeward people and their families.

After that, he said the information would be sent immediately to his office in Monrovia.

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Liberia has struggled with drug trafficking and abuse, with cocaine and marijuana, among others, being the most trafficked drugs. 

The country’s porous borders and weak law enforcement have facilitated drug smuggling, contributing to social and economic challenges.

However, these challenges remain a complex issue in Liberia, as a new drug called zombies emerged in recent months.

But Mr. Kromah said the drug had been around for the past two years, thanks to their analysis, which brought its existence to the public glare.

Mr. Kromah views the new system as being set up to provide a clearer picture of these challenges, enabling them to feed their international partners with the necessary information.

“If you look at our international list, our arrest statistics had dropped to a certain extent because when we came in, we stopped every activity regarding arrest to understand what exactly the challenges were,” he said.

“I never wanted to be part of the process where we will just be breaking doors and arresting folks and can’t prosecute them. You will have all these arrests, but they are not prosecuted, and as a result, you are not achieving anything,” he continued.

“Our international partners want to see what exactly we are doing with these arrests, most especially the prosecution aspect and how drug importers are held accountable.”

However, Col. Kromah stated that they have a couple of guys in prison, and they are making sure to systematically push the legal process by building a case.

He spoke of conducting surveillance and managing the process so that they have untainted proof of crime before pursuing conviction.

He promised that once the process is completed, they will ensure that nobody goes unpunished, as was the case in the past.

Kromah said they are building a network with the neighboring countries’ drug enforcement agencies to walk together to fight drugs. 

He said there’s already a system established for customs and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), but the one they are building will be for drugs and crime.

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