LDEA Bong Commander, Others Under Probe?

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Credible sources have told this contributor that authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) have called to Monrovia for questioning the LDEA commander in Bong County and other officers linked to an alleged narcotic drugs scandal. But when contacted via mobile phone Monday morning, LDEA spokesman, Michael Jiptly, said he had no knowledge that senior officers in Bong County have been ordered to report to the Liberian capital for questioning. He has instead requested this Reporter to forward him copy of the leaked audio. Commander Joseph K. Gokor and few other LDEA officers were heard in a leaked audio has linked them to an illicit drugs scandal in the central Bong County. Gbarnga LDEA Commander, Other Officers Allegedly In Deal With Drug Traffickers – News Public Trust The leaked audio, which was recently played on local radio stations in Gbarnga, reveals that the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency Bong County Commander, Joseph Gorkor and three of his deputies in Bong County have had a meeting with drug dealers in that part of the country intended to prevent and/or suppress illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs. The  leaked audio also reveals plans to prevent the efficient and effective enforcement of the provisions of the drug law, or to arrest and investigate alleged violators, but to rather create an alliance with drug dealers for pecuniary benefits to themselves. Those allegedly involved in this audio recording include S/A Joseph K. Gokor, Commander LDEA Bong County Detachment, S/A Prince Boimah former chief of Operations Bong County and Julius Wayen David Dean’s Town Commander. In a leaked audio, S/A Joseph K. Gokor, the LDEA Commander, can be heard negotiating with people believed to be drugs dealers and cautioning them to stay off the radar as the government has passed the drug law that prohibits them from selling illegal narcotics substances and illegal drugs. S/A Joseph K. Gokor, speaking at the meeting, says to a person identified as Baysah “aside from me, the drug law has been passed so we came to tell you people to park up and leave the area and go to other counties”. He then urged them to head towards Grand Kru, Nimba, River Gee, Margibi and other far away counties to continue with their drug deals where he believes it would be hard to be confiscated. He continued: “We give you one-month ultimatum to leave or pack and go into other counties because we don’t want to see one rock of drug here.” The problem of proliferation of narcotic drugs in Liberia and the devastating effects they are having, especially on the youths of this country, is growing at an alarming rate, with many people calling on the CDC government to make declare this crisis a national emergency. Ever since the US$100 million cocaine case was lost by the government and with no trace of people who brought it into the country, many think the fight against the proliferation of narcotic drugs has reached a dead end, something that is partly being blamed on allegedly corrupt drugs enforcement personnel. This problem has become so alarming, prompting amendment to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of 2014, which was recently signed into law by the President George MannehWeah after the Act was passed by the Liberian Legislature. Though copies of the said law are not yet readily available to the public, it is intended to deal with the drug menace more robustly with regard to those who contravene the drugs law. In addition to the amended drugs law, there is another law–the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency Act of 2014, which gave birth to the agency, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA). It has statutory responsibility to enforce the drug law. There are several pertinent sections of the LDEA Act that deals specifically with the functions and duties that the LDEA. In Section 22.103. Functions of Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, the law states amongst other things that the LDEA shall: (a) formulate, monitor and coordinate national programs for combating illicit drug product trafficking and drug money laundering; (d) prevent and suppress illicit trafficking and unauthorized use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances or controlled drugs; In Section 22.104. Powers and Duties of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency, the LDEA Act states that the LDEA shall: (a) undertake, coordinate, collaborate and facilitate the efficient and effective enforcement of the provisions of the Controlled Drug and Substances Law and any other anti-drug legislation under the Penal Law relative to unlawful acts involving any controlled drug and substances, precursor and essential chemical, and investigate alleged violators; (b) investigate alleged drug offenses; (c) arrest and apprehend as well as search all alleged violators and seize for the purpose of confiscation, the effects or proceeds of the crimes as provided by law and take custody thereof.  Reacting to the audio recording recently, Prince Boimah, former Chief of operations Bong County said, his request to drug dealers for 150,000(no currency mentioned) was one of their strategies to get drug dealers and more besides, security has many ways to execute their work. He added that his 150,000 request was done in good faith and it was a strategy to know those drug dealers in person because any time they plan to go do arrest, some of the men in the LDEA can inform the drug dealers. By Garmah Never Lomo, garmahlomo@gmail.com/ newspublictrust.com

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