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With enormous efforts being directed at enlivening the education, health and other sectors, the social sector faces an uphill challenge. Out of the desire for socialization, Liberian youths now find pleasure in taking drugs that inundate the market across the country in order to ‘rest their mental tension,’ and it is the Drugs Enforcement Agency that is feeling the pinch, as it is being berated as not being effective.
-Margibi Supt Berates Drugs Control Group As His County Awash with Drugs
One of the major residues of the several years of civil unrest is the reported uncontrollable proliferation of all kind of illicit substances all over the country, a situation Margibi County Superintendent has blamed on a rather weak and ineffective Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Supt John Buway 9x6Like other places around the country, Margibi is experiencing a spring in drugs, with children becoming active participants in its usage.  However, Superintendent John Z. Buway is laying blame at the feet of the DEA which is receiving budgetary and other related supports to rake the country of all forms of illicit drugs.

In spite of the huge presence of DEA officers, use of illicit substances has reportedly overtaken the county, and Supt Buway is enraged that his county is being turned into a hub for such menace.

The situation is said to be fueled by the saturation of ghettos in places like Kakata, Weala, Cotton Tree and Unification Town. “Students play with those drugs on a regular basis,” he said, and added “one of the cases was reported to me through a parent and I asked the DEA to intervene but they did not come back to me with any result.”

He has expressed disappointment in the DEA over its alleged failure to put the situation under control. “I have been very frank with you; I am so disappointed in the DEA in the County and I can say that openly” Supt. Buway told reporters in Kakata over the weekend.

Established by law, DEA is the arm of government that deals with and enforces regulations on the use of drugs and other illicit substances. DEA over the years arrested and disposed of several tons of drugs, but that is not helping the situation.

Liberia is witnessing huge concentration of drugs since the end of the civil war, and most Liberians blame foreigners for the proliferation of drugs across the country.
According to him, he contacted the DEA through a written communication but to none avail, but this paper could get world from the entity up to press time to ascertain the claims.

“People at the various liquor shops and those who sell Kayan put drugs and illicit substances in most of those things while there are lots of ghettos for the kids and DEA is practically doing nothing about it,” an enraged Buway lambasted.

Whenever people engage the DEA on the issue, all they talk about is resources.” Supt. Buway promised to reach the matter to the president if the DEA did not do something about.

He stressed, “I am worry if the kids now start to play with illicit substances such as opium and cocaine among others, it will damage them and if that happens, there will be nobody to replace the older ones.”

When asked on the role of the Police in getting raid off ghettos in the County, the Superintendent said the Police do not have major responsibility when it comes to dealing with drugs. Meanwhile, officials of the DEA in Kakata could not deny nor confirm the allegation but said they are challenged by lack of logistics.

DEA’s record
Over the years, news of arrest of drugs users and importers by the DEA filled the media landscape. The entity, as part of its duties, charged and turned several drugs importers to court for prosecution, and on countless occasions burned huge quantities of drugs.

However, the enormity of the current inundation of drugs across the country is overshadowing some of the gains it made. Besides, some Liberians are of the opinion that some elements in the DEA are aiding and abetting the situation by colliding with drugs sellers to maximize profit.

History of DEA

The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) is a semi-autonomous agency under the supervisory authority of the Ministry of Justice, responsible for effective and efficient enforcement of laws pertaining controlled drugs, substances and precursors, including essential chemicals.

LDEA plays a drug-crime focused role in national law enforcement. The Agency implements measures to protect the territorial borders of Liberia from the importation and exportation of drugs and controlled substances.

Its vision is to become most proactive and one of the leading Drug Law Enforcement Agency in West Africa and one of the best in the world through the provision of effective and efficient services to Liberians by cutting off supply of illicit drugs, reducing demand for illicit drugs and other substances of abuse, tracing and recovering drug related proceeds and contributing to the creation and maintenance of an enviable image of Liberia throughout the world.

DEA has the mission to disrupt, dismantle, and eliminate all threats posed to the Republic of Liberia by illicit drug trafficking and abuse. It shall deploy all resources at its disposal for a complete purge of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; suppression of demand for illicit drugs and other substances of abuse; retrieval of ill-gotten wealth acquired from proceeds of illicit drug trade; protection, enhancement and maintenance of the image of Liberia and Liberians in the diaspora.

By Moses M. Tokpah

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