BY: Shallon S. Gonlor

NIMBA COUNTY — The Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) assigned in Sanniquellie, Nimba County has arrested Morris Togbay, 25, in connection with 35 plastics of “Kush”.

The alleged drug trafficker was arrested by Joint Securities assigned at the Sanniquellie Welcome Gate checkpoint with 35 plastic of the harmful substance, which was buried under Bajaj’s Motorbike while attempting to cross with the relevant parcel at the security checkpoint.

Accordingly, suspect Morris Togbay was arrested along with two others on Monday, January 8, 2024, at the  Sanniquellie  City joint security checkpoint in Nimba County at about 1:00 AM.

The stock of Kush parcel was discovered under a Baja Motorbike seat concealed in wet clothes while en route from Ganta to Beo Ganaglay and the stock of the harmful substance has been handed over to the LDEA for further investigations. 

The commercial motorcyclist had arrived at the security checkpoint in Sanniquellie on Monday, January 8, 2024, and had been detained by officers of the LDEA on suspicion of its contents, after which subsequent investigations carried out, led to the recovery of the stock of drugs.

Despite the passage of the drug law in Liberia, many persons continue to illegally import drugs while many young people continue to abuse them in the process. 

A few days ago,  two boys in their early 15s fell prey, one person subsequently died and the other was in critical health condition after intake of kush – a cheap new illegal drug.

Victims, Menwon Wonlea succumbed to death, while Son Karnuah was hospitalized as a result of the harmful substance intake.

The incident reportedly occurred Sunday, December 24, 2023, on the eve of Christmas in Bahn City, Nimba County Electoral District#7.

Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are struggling with an increasing number of young people becoming addicted to a substance known as kush or K2, while the abuse of the drug has already killed several people in the region.

On July 15, 2023, President George Weah signed into law a more robust drug law intended to eliminate the illegal importation of drugs into the country. 

The law signed further states that The offense of unlicensed importing of controlled drugs or substances shall be

graded as where the subject matter of the offense is a drug or substances” as prescribed by the Act.

It further states that “the person shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree and punishable to a prison of a maximum of ten years and not exceeding twenty years consistent with provisions of the Penal Code 1, section 50.5 and 50.6.”

It is noted that the offense shall be a grave offense and shall not be bailable. 

The Act outlines where the subject matter of the offense is a drug or substances listed in schedule II, III, and lV of the Law to be used for trafficking, the person shall be guilty of a second-degree felony punishable by a prison term of not less than five years and not exceeding ten years under the provisions of section 50.5 and 50.6 of the Penal Law of Liberia. 

“As to the matter of bail,” the Act states “only cash to the value of the bond or cash’ deposit in the bank to the value of the bond as evidenced by a bank certificate.”

About the unlicensed manufacture of controlled drugs or substances, a person commits an offense if he engages in the manufacture or

preparation of any drugs or substances listed in Schedules I, II, I, IV, or precursor or essential chemicals listed in Table I and Table II of the Act without a license. 

According to the law, such person shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree and, if used otherwise, shalt be guilty of a second-degree felony and shall face jail sentence between l0 to 20 years or as prescribed in Section 50.5 and 50.5 of the Penal Law of Liberia.

The passage and subsequent signing of the law further signifies President Weah’s commitment to fight illegal drugs and substance abuse, a menace that has plagued society, endangering and rubbing thousands of Liberian youth of a better future.