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Court Subpoenas NPA, APM Terminals, others

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By: Frank P Martin

MONROVIA: The Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice (TJ) in Monrovia has Subpoenaed the Management of the National Port Authority (NPA), APM Terminals and several other individuals and institutions to testify in a US$100 million Cocaine case before the court.

The defense lawyers on Thursday prayed the court to issue writs of Subpoena on the Management of the National Port Authority and the APM Terminals.

Others are the National Customs Brokers Union President, James Hinneh, the Publisher of the New Dawn Newspaper, Mr. Othello Garblah, the management of the Financial Intelligence Unit, and the authority of the Anti-Smuggling Unit of the Customs Services of Liberia.

Authorities of APM and the National Port Authority are to appear before the court to testify as to whether the container said to contain the drugs that TRH imported was checked and cleared by the authorities of the port.

The Publisher of New Dawn Newspaper Othello Garblah will also appear to testify on the allegation made by the President of the Customs, Broker James Hinneh, that the government of Liberia gives special treatment to TRH not to check and inspect any consignments they made have shipped in the country which allegation was published in the paper sometimes back.

It is alleged that TRH containers, whenever landed at the Free Port of Monrovia on many occasions, have been cleared without being checked by authorities of the Freeport of Monrovia.

Meanwhile, following a request by the defense lawyers, Criminal Court “C” Judge, A. Blamo Dixon, has granted the defense lawyers’ request for the issuance of writs of subpoena and Ad- testificadum on the individuals and institutions.

He added that the court shall set the date for the appearance of the said subpoena witnesses after the defense shall have consumed the entire defendant in the term to court on the witness stand.

Earlier last year, defendants Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo, Makki Admeh Issam, Oliver A. Zayzay and others who are linked to the recent US$100 million cocaine case were indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on charges ranging from money laundering, unlicensed possession and importation of controlled drugs, and criminal conspiracy.

The four counts in the indictment noted that Conte, Djalo and Issam, Zayzay, and others conspired, colluded, and facilitated to commit the crime of money laundering, which is a felony of the first degree, and the unlicensed importation of controlled drugs or substance.

The others are unlicensed possession of controlled drugs or substances which are also felonies of the first degree and criminal conspiracy, a felony of second degree.

The 2022 indictment of the men by the Grand Jury of Montserrado also noted that the act of the defendants is contrary to Section 15.2 of the Money Laundering Act, 2.2(b) of the Penal Law of Liberia, and against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

Also, the indictment states that the acts of the defendants are contrary to Section 14.102 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act 2014 and 2.2(b) of the Penal Law of Liberia as well as against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

In the same vein, the indictment noted that the defendants’ acts are contrary to Sections 107 and 111 of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Acts 2014 and 2.2 (b) of the Penal Law of Liberia, and they also hindered 4LCLR Title 26, Section 10.4 (1)(2)(3)(4)(5) and 4 LCLR, Title 26, Section 2.2 (b) of the Penal Law of Liberia and against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

Therefore, they were transferred to appear before the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Court “C” for Montserrado, in its November Term, to answer to charges brought against them.

The indictments originated from the US$100 million cocaine bust on Saturday, October 1, 2022, in which one Oliver Zayszay, a Liberian national, and some of his foreign associates were arrested after seeking to purchase what appeared to be a shipping container full of fresh frozen pig feet from a refrigerated storage facility in Monrovia.

The defendants had initially offered to pay the owners of the container, AJA Group Holdings, the sum of US$200,000 for the entire container that costs less than US$30,000.

But, when the defendants, within less than eight hours, doubled their offer to US$400,000 and finally to US$1 million, AJA Group said, they were certain that Zayzay and his associates were dealing with a serious case of narcotics trafficking.

The company indicated that it contacted the United States Ambassador, a move that brought both the American and Liberian anti-narcotics law enforcement agents into the picture and caught the suspects red-handed.

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