- West Africa
- United States
- Drugs - Governance
Liberia: Sirleaf lauded for massive drug bust
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been praised for putting together an anti-corruption administration after authorities of the Liberia National Security Agency aided an investigation into a plot to deal out more than $100 million of cocaine from South America into Europe and Africa.
According to reports, drug dealers sought to bribe high-level officials in the Liberian government in order to protect shipments of vast quantities of cocaine into Africa and Europe but met with incorruptible Liberian authorities.
The Liberian officials helped the investigation during a series of face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and telephone calls with the defendants. Seven people in Liberia and one in Spain was arrested.
"Indeed, President Sirleaf put her own flesh and blood in the fight and in the line of fire. What greater resolve could a leader demonstrate? She [Sirleaf] had sent a message that her country was not for sale to drug traffickers,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told reporters.
Bharara said drug organizations were increasingly targeting developing countries with the hope that their governments would not be capable of stopping their influence.
President Sirleaf was praised along with the director of Liberia National Security Agency Fumbah Sirleaf [Son of President Sirleaf] and two other top Liberian officials who worked as secret agents to aid the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administrtaion in capturing eight defendants in the alleged drug conspiracy from South America.
"As today’s charges show, the Republic of Liberia is officially closed for business to the narcotics trade. We are strongly committed to combating international drug organizations that seek to exploit our country for their own profit,” President Sirleaf said announcing the drug arrests to reporters.
According to U.S Drug Enforcement Administration, drug organizations have the potential to create civil unrest, enable terrorism and facilitate the mass distribution of poison, and thus nations must corporate in the fight against their operations.
"The nation and the region can become beachheads for the narcotics trade or stand as a bulwark against it," Bharara added.
Last week, President Barack Obama praised President Sirleaf for her country’s progress against poverty and corruption, saying its neighbors could learn from its emerging dedication to democracy.