Home Economy ‘Drug Mafias’ Want Kromah Ejected… ‘Infiltrate LDEA Corridors’

‘Drug Mafias’ Want Kromah Ejected… ‘Infiltrate LDEA Corridors’

by newsmanager

By Our Staff Writer
MONROVIA: Illicit drugs trafficking is now a big money business in Liberia and other poor countries in West Africa.
Drugs mafias from countries in Latin America, mainly Brazil, Colombia and Mexico have reportedly reduced Guinea-Bissau to being the epicenter of West Africa’s illicit drugs trafficking trade, and that some of the drugs barons have infiltrated Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ghana aimed at enhancing unlawful drug transshipments.

Since Liberia’s back-to-back civil conflict that began in December 1989 ended in August 2003, the country remains awash by extreme poverty, weak governance system and desecration of rule of law.

Other tedious challenges facing the country include but not limited to irregular and low payment for state security personnel working with Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, National Security Agency and the Amed Forces of Liberia, among others.

As if to add salt to injury, the poverty rate of the country has sharply increased in recent times, with over 60% of the country’s estimated 5 million plus population living below US2. 00 per day.

As a result of these weaknesses affecting Liberia, illicit drugs tycoons have stepped-up their game of trafficking by transshipping more narcotic substances, mainly at the detriment of the youthful population.

Early in 2006, during the first term of Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as Africa’s and Liberia’s first female elected President, the French and Ivorian intelligence arrested some US$800 million worth of illicit cocaine on Liberia’s international water near Ivory Coast and subsequently turned the drugs over to the Liberian government at the time.

Again in 2007, seven persons were deported by the erstwhile Johnson-Sirleaf administration to the United States (US), after they were arrested as they allegedly attempted to ship 4,000kg of cocaine out of the country.

The suspects were accused of bribing top Liberian officials to protect the large cocaine shipments, “since 2007”.
The men were charged by prosecutors in New York with conspiracy to import cocaine.

In recent years, West Africa has become a transit point for drugs en route from South America to Europe and the US.
Then, Liberia’s Solicitor-General, Cllr. M. Watkins Wrights, read out a government statement, saying that the seven men were from Russia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana.
He said, then, that they had tried to smuggle the cocaine, which had a street value of US$100 million (£68m), from Colombia.
“Liberia is closed for business to the narcotics trade,” Cllr. Wrights stressed at the time.
The arrests were part of the US Drugs Enforcement Administration’s “Operation Relentless”, in which Liberian and US authorities have been working together in an effort to catch drug traffickers.
The suspects were communicating with Liberian officials in order to establish transit points for the exportation of the cocaine to the US, the BBC reported at the time.
The officials pretended to cooperate before turning the suspects over to the US authorities.
The men were sent from Liberia to the US between 28 May and 1 June, the government statement said at the time.
West Africa has increasingly become a point favored by Latin American drug cartels because of weak local law enforcement and a largely unsupervised coastline.
The drugs are flown or shipped across the Atlantic and then onto markets in Europe and the US.
There have been large cocaine seizures in other countries in the region, including Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

Long before the appointment of the new leadership of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA), led Col. Abraham Kromah, Liberia’s drugs Mafias have reportedly organized themselves into a powerful group to either deal with members of the LDEA new team or fight them.
Investigation conducted by The ‘Investigative’ INDEPENDENT has established that there are four leading drug trafficking blocs around Monrovia and its immediate surroundings.
Our investigation also found out the first is the Nigeria Drug Traffickers’ bloc, followed by the Fulani, Lebanese and some Liberians. The Liberians are local distributors for the main traffickers.
Reports say the Lebanese Drug Mafias are now the most powerful group, that with chain of real estate ventures, supermarkets, building material stores, importation of frozen food, rice and other merchandises on the local market.

This group is said to have connection with the recent US$100 million drug case in which Liberian Government was defeated on May 18, 2023, during the erstwhile administration of former President George Manneh Weah.

According to our investigation, the Lebanese Drug Mafias established ties with other international drugs cartels in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, and their main smuggling routes are either Guinea-Bissau or Sierra Leone.
One investigation has confirmed that the lead drugs Mafia in Brazil has also infiltrated some international shipping agencies.

Interestingly, this paper gathered that following the confirmation by the Liberian Senate of LDEA Director-General, AB Kromah, the Lebanese drugs Mafias sent an emissary to Col. Kromah, aimed at protecting their business interest but Kromah was said to have avoided meeting with the emissary.
It was also gathered that the Lebanese drugs mafias therefore decided to meet with other influential officials of the LDEA.
It is also detected that based on their failure to meet with Kromah, the Lebanese drug traffickers changed their strategy and allegedly got in contact with other powerful LDEA officials, not named.
Their first deal, according to our investigation, if AB Kromah rejects their clients, he (Kromah) will go. Unconfirmed reports had it that Kromah refused to accept a US$21,000 purse without identification of the source.

Accordingly, the source of the so-called US$21,000 gift was the main cause of the conflict at the LDEA as other LDEA top officials were said to be in the know of the source of the US$21,000.
The conflict at top of the LDEA erupted into violence involving three of its main officials with President Joseph Nyuma Boakai ordering their suspension for investigation for appropriate actions.
In recent times, AB Kromah has vowed to crack down on major drug smugglers around Monrovia and has planned to revisit the US$100 million cocaine case that the government lost to purported drug smugglers in 2023.
In February, AB Kromah arrested nine Liberian-based Nigerian drug dealers in Sayon Town, Bushrod Island near Monrovia. Col. Kromah and team of the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) nabbed the two Liberians were suspected of running a drug cartel in Sayon Town on Bushrod Island. And then, Col Kromah cracked down on local drug dealers have angering the main drug Mafias in Liberia and to ‘gang up’ against him.

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