GeneralLiberia newsON 2ND THOUGHT

On 2nd Thoughts: Why only TRH containers being used by drug traffickers?

By Othello B. Garblah

Last week, an official of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) linked the recent US37 million worth of cocaine discovered in a TRH Trading Corporation consigned container at the country’s main port to an unknown Kenyan trafficker-interesting.

Though investigation into this latest bust is still ongoing, the Government through the LDEA has moved swiftly to clear TRH Trading Corporation of any link to the drug syndicate just as it did during the US100 million drug bust even before the suspects could be arrested, though the cocaine was found in its container.

On October 1, last year, cocaine worth US100 million was found in TRH Trading Corporation’s rented warehouse off the Japanese Freeway near Tonpoe Village in Gardnerville.

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But before the suspects could even be rendered up and charged, Justice Minister Cllr. Musa Dean hailed TRH, a subsidiary of Abijoudi \AJA Group as the whistleblower while naming three foreign nationals as suspects.

The repeated discoveries of cocaine in TRH/AJA Group consigned containers and government’s immediate clearance of the company describing the owners as whistleblowers seem to beg more questions than answers.

One tends to wonder whether this immediate clearance of TRH has to do with the special business relationship it has with the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Government-the special tax privileges.

For the record, TRH/AJA has been clearing its consignments from the port without going through inspection like majority of the businesses here do.

They just use invoices and bills of landing. This loose way of clearing their containers from the port, many believe may have motivated the drug to be imported by or through them.

The government, thru the Liberia Revenue Authority, has publicly defended here that disparity in inspecting contents of containers brought at the Freeport of Monrovia that allowed TRH Trading Corporation loaded cocaine containers to leave the port without any check is part of its Post Clearance Audit program.

The Post Clearance Audit Program, according to the LRA, is a universal trade facilitation tool in customs that allows relatively compliant importers access to expeditious clearance subject to review subsequently.

No wonder TRH is the only company here whose containers have been targeted to be used to transport cocaine here.

From the last two busts, the argument appears to be true because TRH/AJA Group is the only importer whose consignment has often been loaded with contraband substance and yet the government keeps treating the Lebanese conglomerate as whistleblowers.

When you look at the inconsistency in TRH/AJA Group’s initial explanation during the first bust on October 1, 2022, it gives more room for questioning rather than considering them as mere whistleblowers.

But this is a special privilege company, whose containers are not subjected to physical inspection.

Now, ignoring or avoiding physical inspection by all parties-both the government operatives at the port and TRH/AJA simply because they enjoy certain loose and unregulated privileges speak volumes and question the urgent exoneration of TRH in these busts.

Any reasonable person would understand that such practice puts TRH/AJA right in the middle of these drug busts. In any civilized jurisdiction, TRH/AJA Group would be treated as a prime suspect and accomplice.

But Our Government will have you believe that TRH/AJA Group is the victim, helping the alleged suspects and accomplice to now be considered “the drug whistleblower”.

By all accounts, reasons provided by the government in granting business privileges to TRH Trading Corporation in whose warehouse and containers cocaine valued combined total of US137 million have been found is difficult to digest.

Liberians may never get to know how many containers brought into the country with contrabands have passed unchecked at the Freeport of Monrovia to their concealed or unknown destinations at the detriment of the State.

The fact that warning by Global Maritime Tracking Solution which tracks shipments across the world that the container with the US100 million cocaine be subjected to physical inspection was ignored, says a lot about the depth of complacency authorities in the country display.


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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