LDEA Boss: “Zero Tolerance on Recycling Drug, Trafficking”
Strongly in the fight to curb the increasing wave of drug trafficking and other associated crimes in the country, the Director General of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA), Marcus Zehyoue, has outlined several achievements made by his institution over the years in combating the unlawful practice of drug abuse in Liberia.
Speaking in a press conference on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs & Tourism, the LDEA boss said, “We will continue to remain focused and unwavering in mitigating the rising challenges that drug use and organize crime continue to impose on our country. Since the DEA establishment in 2008 and the October 2014 amendment of the Act creating the institution, the will to politically and significantly enhance the robustness of the anti-narcotic body is yet to be achieved as a result of the limitation of our laws and the limited capacity of the institution to swiftly tackle those many challenges,” he asserts.
Meanwhile, Director Zehyoue said at the climax of 2020 operation, statistics put the number of suspects arrested across the country at 137, in which male is 116 and female 21. But out of the number of suspects arrested, investigated and sent to court, he said 25 have been convicted and currently facing jail sentence for offences, while 12 are foreign national and the remaining 125 are all Liberians as well.
For the record, the total seizures of substances arrested over the year included cocaine, 154.4 grams; heroin, 5,107 grams; marijuana, 387 kilograms; codeine, 180 grams; ecstasy, 16 grams; and 7 firearms. The quantity of the substances have been valued at more than L$700 million.
In keeping with the code of conduct and in line with the zero-tolerance approach adapted, Director General Zehyoue mentioned, “We continue to weed out several of our officers who were caught recycling as well as aiding and abetting drug trafficking. To name a few, we have dismissed the former Chief of Operation, Darius A. Davis, the former King Gray Commander, Momo Zinnah, the former Gardnerville Commander, Raymondson Tiah, Matthew Mitchelle, former Bomi County Commander, Kulah Dennis, and Ernest V. Sayeh, Deputy, Wendell Mewon, and the most recent of them is the former DEA officer assigned at the TCU, Alfred M. Korleh. The reason for those officers’ dismissal, especially Alfred M. Korleh, derived from his recent involvement with some parcels of cocaine spillage floating on the coastal waters along the Maryland and Grand Kru counties stretch in the southeastern belt of Liberia.
According to the LDEA boss, upon receiving reliable information from the River Gee County detachment on February 25 concerning the arrest of three suspects with 1 kilo of raw cocaine, one long single barrel and a rubber pistol, suspects Alfred M. Korleh, Mohammed Keita and Oniyekwu Wilson were immediately arrested.
Director Marcus Zehyoue said, after the arrest of the three suspects and subsequent investigation, Alfred M. Korleh was order disrobed and stripped of his amenities as officer for aiding and abetting drug trafficking on several occasions.
“But to my greatest dismay, former officer Alfred and his accomplices, who were charged and sent to the 15th Judicial Circuit Court in Fish Town, River Gee County, have sadly been released on bail and are currently gallivanting the environment of the county as though nothing has happened,” the DG said.