MONROVIA – The Minister of Information, Ledgerhood Rennie says the Ministry of Justice, through the Joint Security of Liberia, confirmed that the consignment of ten boxes seized at the Roberts International Airport contained methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug and less commonly as a second-line treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity.
However, the Weah government’s admission comes after initially claiming that the ten boxes seized by the Armed Forces of Liberia, contained packets of raw moringa tea leaves, but further testing was needed for validation.
The public display of the boxes on Monday by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) came twelve days after the boxes were seized. During this period, the government had kept silent on the matter until a Frontpage Africa newspaper publication.
Minister Rennie said through a statement that: “As part of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency’s investigation, which included scientific examination, samples tested revealed the presence of the illicit drug, which is banned under the rules of United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes.”
The government’s statement comes amidst serious public concerns among Liberians about how sincere the government might be in tackling the growing drug trade and abuse within the country.
The statement did not disclose specific details regarding the origin of the boxes, the intended destination, or the individuals involved.
The Minister, however, claimed that the government has pledged to take swift action to bring those responsible to justice, emphasizing the need to curb the proliferation of drugs in Liberia.
The Minister of justice had instructed the country’s joint security team to launch a thorough investigation into the matter, Rennie said in the statement.
The Minister continued: “The Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musah Dean has with immediate effect ordered the Joint Security of Liberia, as well as the LDEA, LNP and the NSA, to expand their investigations on the importation of illegal drugs with the aim of bringing to justice all those involved.
“The public will be duly updated as progress is made on the investigation and in the wider fight against illicit drugs and transnational criminals,” Rennie noted.
The drug, which was first reported by Frontpage Africa, claimed that Samuel Freeman, the Director of Security Manager at the Airport, was caught while attempting to transport the boxes through an unauthorized gate.
According to the airport authorities, Freeman has been suspended for time indefinitely pending an investigation into allegations involvement in the smuggling of “cargo through an unauthorized gate on the tarmac.”
The airport authority stated that the alleged action was in violation of Section 4 of the airport Human Resource manual.
Freeman, who has denied the allegations, has already claimed that the boxes were consignments for President Weah’s Chief of Protocol, Nora Finda Bundoo, but denied making such a statement as reported by the soldiers who seized the boxes.
Bundoo has since distanced herself from Freeman’s allegation, claiming she has no knowledge of the drugs in question.
Drugs, particularly methamphetamine, pose a significant threat to society due to their highly addictive nature and destructive impact on individuals and communities.