''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol 10 No 3

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Monday November 11, 2013 -  The head of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's motorcade implicated in drug smuggling. Perry Dolo and his accomplices arrested with nearly three hundred kilos of marijuana (jamba) being taken from Sierra Leone to Liberia.Liberia's Deputy Police Chief Stryker

Reports that Perry Dolo, the head of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's motorcadeEllen Johnson Sirleaf (17 May 2013) team has been caught in the act of allegedly trafficking nearly three hundred kilos of jamba from our country to Liberia should alert the Freetown authorities and indeed the international community to drug use and trafficking within the West African sub-region. The Liberian-based New Dawn newspaper had this on the story under the headline President’s Escort Van Busted part of which stated -

"Liberia’s Deputy Police Director for Administration, Rose Stryker has disclosed here that the joint security forces have arrested the head of the presidential Police escort detail, Superintendent Perry Dolo, for allegedly transporting an estimated 297 Kilograms of substance believed to be marijuana.

The acting Police chief made the disclosure on Saturday at a news conference held at the National Police Headquarters in Monrovia.  Suspect Dolo heads the presidential Police escort detail on President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s motorcade. She said Supt. Dolo was arrested along with Mr. Mohammed S. Bah, a Guinean National; Mr. Korma Gibanilla, a Sierra Leonean military officer and a Liberian identified as Augustine N. Saah.

While being pursued by officers of the Joint Security, Madam Stryker said the principal suspect abandoned his Police vehicle and fled the scene, adding, “He was later apprehended in a nearby abandoned building.

The Deputy Police Director however emphasized that the Government of Liberia takes the issue of trans-national crime very seriously, warning that the Joint Security Team here has been closely monitoring all vehicles, including Police and other vehicles entering and exiting border points in and around the country. We would like to stress that no one is above the law. We will take the necessary action to bring all perpetrators of crime, particularly drug trafficking at our borders to justice,” she said.

The BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme today carried an interview with Monrovia correspondent Jonathan Paylaylay with the organisation's website in a headline Liberian leader's guard arrested over 'drug smuggling' stating -

Mr Dolo was arrested with a Liberian, a Guinean and a third person believed to be a member of the Sierra Leonean military, the DEA said. DEA head Anthony Souh said the accused were being interrogated. "They are still with me going through the process,'' he said. "We want to speedily send them to court... because the case is too high. Using a presidential car? It's too big." Security sources at the Bo-Waterside border crossing said Mr Dolo had been under surveillance for two weeks before he and the other three were apprehended at the weekend in the town of Tienne, about 20km (12 miles) inside Liberia and 120km west of the capital, Monrovia. "He [Mr Dolo] was not on duty, but he used the official car,'' Mr Souh said.

It is to be recalled that Liberia's Drugs Enforcement Agency was instrumental in a sting operation which netted a trafficking ring which had wanted to establish a safe haven for drug smuggling operations that would have seen Liberia and other West African countries used as processing and distribution centres for South American drugs cartels targeting markets in Europe and the United States. A report on the website of the United States Drugs Enforcement Agency noted that -

"Since in or about 2007, the defendants have attempted to bribe high-level officials in the Liberian Government in order to protect shipments of vast quantities of cocaine, and to use Liberia as a trans-shipment point for further distribution of the cocaine in Africa and Europe. In particular, certain of the defendants met with two individuals they knew to be Liberian government officials - the Director and Deputy Director of the Republic of Liberia National Security Agency (RLNSA), both of whom (unbeknownst to the defendants) in fact were working jointly with the DEA in an undercover capacity ("UC-1" and "UC-2", respectively). The Director of the RLNSA is also the son of the current President of Liberia. In a number of the meetings involving these Liberian officials, the defendants also met with a confidential source working with DEA (the "CS"), who purported to be a business partner and confidante of the Director of the RLNSA. In seeking to ensure the safe passage of their cocaine shipments, the defendants agreed to make payments to the Director and the Deputy Director of the RLNSA in cash and also in the form of cocaine. The CS advised the defendants that a portion of the cocaine paid to the CS would be transported from Liberia to Ghana, from where it would be imported into New York."

It was this sting operation that netted one wanted drugs trafficker who had escaped the clutches of honest police officers in Sierra Leone who wanted him in connection with the cocaine plane incident as well as other reports of drugs trafficking. It was widely rumoured that he enjoyed the protection of top politicians and police officers in Sierra Leone and that even though he was wanted by the Sierra Leone police, he was often seen in Freetown going about his dugs trafficking operations with ease and enjoying the same sort of protection. These were his names on the unsealed indictment - Gilbrilla Kamara, a/k/a/ "Gibril Kamara," a/k/a "Anthony Smith," a/k/a "GK," a/k/a "Gibry," a/k/a "Gee Wee," a/k/a "River Stallon," State House car used in the kidnap of an Irish businessman in Freetown.

This latest arrest in Liberia involving military personnel from Sierra Leone should be taken very seriously by any right-thinking government in Sierra Leone as the country has become too closely linked with cross-border drug trafficking. It is also to be noted that while the head of the President's motorcade in Liberia was arrested using such a vehicle even  though he was not on duty, we would want to  remind our dear readers of a similar incident in Sierra Leone where one of the President's cars was used in a kidnap operation of an Irish businessman. As far as we can tell nothing came out of the entire worrying and very disgraceful matter.

Again we are told of how one of the close associates of President Koroma aka Gronpig aka RAT, one Leatherboot left State House without authorisation and was a part of the government-sponsored mob that violently invaded the premises of the main opposition SLPP offices, beat up their supporters with many left with bleeding body parts while allegations of rape by the women found on the premises of the opposition party headquarters were treated with levity and sheer indifference.

The Shears-Moses inquiry commissioned by the Gronpig in which Leatherboot and other APC activists and the police were implicated in its report lies gathering dust, fuelling impunity in the affairs of government while the governed are left to wonder just who should be protecting the weak and unconnected.

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©Sierra Herald 2002