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Thursday, February 29, 2024

BEWARE THE IDES MARCH AMID SO-CALLED DRIFTING VESSELS ALONG LIBERIA’S TERRITORIAL WATERS…

Date:

A Patriot’s Diary with Ekena Wesley

Beware the ides of March! When the news of a drifted vessel circulated in Maryland County last year, many received it as another nine-day wonder. Coincidentally, it took place on the heels of President George Weah’s county tour. The President was by then in the country’s southeasternmost tip, Maryland.

News reports at the time spoke of local fishermen who had gone fishing in the coastal town of Fish Town and discovered parcels of packaged substances later found to be cocaine.

The local Maryland Detachment of the Liberia National Police (LNP) was immediately dispatched to the area. The police carried out a number of confiscations after ransacking several mud-dubbed homes in the town. Surely it was a good thing for the police to do their job. Drugs are indeed dangerous to any society and public safety is key after all. Little did Liberians get to know that the police’s action was a mere charade. Local journalists in Harper, Maryland County reported conflicting accounts of the cocaine cache at the time.

Local police officers who did not own motorbikes let alone taxicabs became the newfound super-rich. There could be no magic formula amid this strange development. The police that should be protecting the public seemingly engaged in an alleged trade of dangerous substances and suddenly went on a motorbike and taxi buying spree.

While on his County tour in Maryland, President Weah made no mention of the cocaine cache. Didn’t it claim his attention? Perhaps he was too busy touring nonexistent development projects in the area. The search and seizure that occasioned the cocaine find at sea by local fishermen simply died a natural death. The police said absolutely nothing beyond what the media had reported. Why would the police treat a newsworthy story such as a cocaine cache as such? No investigation followed the big news that circulated about what the fishermen had discovered and brought ashore.

It is worth noting that if the spate of confiscations conducted by the local police in Fish Town, Maryland was of no consequence, the local media would not have brought the news fresh and alive. The police in Harper, Maryland County demonstrated a lack of trust and confidence. Their bosses in Monrovia similarly failed to follow up as it were. Could it be that the cocaine found must have been turned over to the higher-ups in Monrovia who chose to conceal whatever their subordinates reported?

The drug trade is a huge and illicit business. The police are aware of the aggressive fight nationally, regionally, and internationally. Liberia is a Member State of INTERPOL. By that Liberia has an obligation to act responsibly and accountably. Did she do so? Disappointingly, Liberia reneged on its regional and international obligation.

Nearly a year after the cocaine cache in Fish Town, Maryland County, the big news about the seizure of US$100 million worth of cocaine hit international wires. The cocaine, which originated from Brazil made its way to Liberia undetected by local state security operatives. Thank God for the Americans who received viable intelligence from the origin of the shipment to the likely destination. Ironically, the shipment arrived at the Freeport of Monrovia without the slightest detection and made its way to a local cold storage warehouse along the Japan Freeway. Amid concerted international pressure, the cocaine was burned in the full glare of the public, which was carried live.

But it had to take our American friends to abort such dangerous trade along the West African coast. At the Freeport of Monrovia, there is a huge Joint Security presence. How come the cocaine arrived at the port and made its way to town undetected? This clearly shows that there is something fundamentally wrong with our national security. Are we concerned? It doesn’t seem so judging by the way continue to recklessly conduct our governance system. Should the Joint Security be blamed for colluding? Your guess would be as good as everyone’s.

Cynically, when local police in Harper boarded the vessel that drifted towards a village, they announced their search and informed the media that there were no arms onboard. How did not police surreptitiously arrive at the conclusion that arms should have been onboard the wrecked vessel? Were the police expecting arms? If yes, from where? How could such vague thought come about, to say the least?

Last year, it was Fish Town – in faraway Maryland. A few weeks ago, one of the biggest cocaine bursts happened in the capital. We have a sleeping government in charge – unable to guarantee the safety and security of its citizens. Beware the ides of March! Amid news of the latest drifted vessel in Maryland Could, can someone tell us the meaning of CDC’s chair Mulbah Morlue’s unannounced visit to Harper? Beware the ides of March? Something is amiss!

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet, a product of Smart Media Group Inc. smartnewsliberia.com publishes a wide range of content including politics, business, sports, and entertainment on and about Liberia. Contact: +231777425285/ 886946925 Email: info@smartnewsliberia.com/ smartnewsliberia@gmail.com

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