Sierra Leone Gov’t Arrests Liberian Drug Lords Fleeing Justice

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The government of Sierra Leone has arrested and turned over to its Liberian counterpart three men who were recently involved in the shipment of five hundred and twenty kilogram (520kg) of cocaine, valued at US$100 million (one hundred million United States dollars).

  On Thursday, October 6, 2022, at about 9:00 p.m., defendant Makki Ahmed Issam, a resident of 21st Street, Sinkor, along with co-defendants Adulai Djibril Djalo and Oliver Allen Zayzay were officially turned over to the Liberian government through Lorenzo Pehlam, Deputy Director for Operations, Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA).

  The defendants on October 1, 2022 concealed the drugs in twenty eight (28) cartons of pig feet labeled with Alegra Foods, which was seized at the Sonit Liberia Incorporated compound, Topoe Village, Japanese Freeway, Montserrado County.

   During background investigation, it was established that on October 1, 2022 a Lebanese man, defendant Issam, was seen at the Fresh Frozen Food Company located at Bong Mines Pierre, with co-defendant Conte, negotiating for the purchase of the container, marked MNBU4070592, on behalf of co-defendants Conte and Adulai.

  It was established that defendant Issam escaped upon the arrest of co-defendant Conte, and subsequently fled to neighboring Sierra Leone along with co-defendants Oliver and Adulai.

  Back in Monrovia, the defendants were detained at a national security withholding cell for twenty-three days (23), undergoing interrogation.

   On November 2, 2022, the Criminal Court “A” received a petition for a writ of habeas corpus by lawyers of the defendants, asking the court to demand that the Government of Liberia (GOL) produces the living bodies of the accused.

  The defendants’ lawyers alleged that the men have been detained for 23 days or beyond the 48 hours as provided by law; consequently, this action was illegal.

   The Government of Liberia (GOL), having been cited by the court, produced the living bodies of the men but justified that they were detained beyond the Constitutional 48 hours due to national security threat.

  The defendants have been charged with unlicensed importation of controlled drugs, money laundering, drug trafficking, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation. They were later taken back to detention at the Monrovia Central Prison, where they await court trial.

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