MONROVIA: In the wake of the recent decision reached by jurors at Criminal Court ‘C’ to render a unanimous not-guilty verdict exonerating all four key defendants accused of involvement in the importation of a staggering US$100 million worth of drugs or 520 kg of cocaine into Liberia, former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai is calling on the George Weah government to find the culprits of the importation of harmful substances into the country and bring them to account. Those that were indicted and freed as a result of the court’s verdict include Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo, Makki Admeh Issam, and Oliver A. Zayzay.
“Anything short of this would signal connivance,” remarked Ambassador Boakai in a press statement issued Saturday, May 20, 2023.
Providing a backdrop to his position statement, Ambassador Boakai said he was “particularly disturbed by media reports that jurors at Criminal Court ‘C’ reached a unanimous not-guilty verdict, exonerating all four key defendants accused of involvement in the importation of a staggering 100 million worth of drugs or 520 kg of cocaine into Liberia”, noting that the news is not only shocking and disappointing, but is completely embarrassing to the image of the country that the past Unity Party government worked so hard to restore a positive image of.
“This also presents a huge setback to our international reputation under this Weah administration and sadly portrays a perception that Liberia is now fast becoming a haven for drug traffickers and a point of transit or final destination in the West African region under Weah.
“Even more troubling is a BBC report that the key suspects in the drug case may have fled the country immediately after the verdict.
“You may recall that the Liberian government, acting on credible U.S security intelligence, arrested four suspects for attempting to smuggle $100 million of cocaine, concealed in a huge consignment of frozen poultry products that had been delivered to a cold storage facility, moments after the container had arrived at the point of delivery.
“The Liberian government then proudly announced to the world that it had in its possession, indisputable evidence to convict the four individuals accused of importing the largest quantity of drugs in the history of our dear country. Shockingly, in April of this year, the reputable Daily Observer Newspaper reported that the Ministry of Justice had “hastily” ended its presentation of evidence in the US$100 million cocaine smuggling case.
“It is important to also note that during the hearing in court, the prosecution’s Chief witness (TRH Trading) revealed that the accused had offered to pay to the owners of the container, AJA Group Holdings, up to the sum of $1 million U.S, raising a red flag.
“I call on the Weah administration to find the culprits of the importation of these harmful substances to our country and bring them to account. Anything short of this would signal connivance.
“Fellow Liberians, this national embarrassment must further strengthen our collective resolve to save this country at the polls in October; to redeem and rescue Liberia.
“Upon assuming office in January 2024, we will vigorously clamp down on drug traffickers attempting to use any inch of our soil and we will pursue their accomplices,” Ambassador Boakai said.