Monday, August 22, 2011

Drugs On Monrovia’s Streets

Monrovia- It can be recorded that in the early months of 2009, the P.H.P community on Lynch Street was raided of ghettos. Thugs that were residing in the area have been reduced to a great extent that people can now feel free to visit the area at night. Having been dislodged from their P.H.P base, many thugs have migrated into communities where drug houses already exist. The fact is known the world over that drug is one of the factors that threaten security in any country, as it give rise to armed robbery among other art of violence in order to keep its market running. Several areas in Monrovia, including Vlagba, West Point and Trench Town among others, have been earmarked as areas where drugs are visibly being sold and little is being done by law enforcement agency to put stop to the act. According to residents of a community in Central Monrovia, Vlagba, there are many drugs houses that are being run despite the existence of the Liberian National Police (LNP) depot in the area which make them feel insecure. A dweller of the community, who prefer anonymity for fear of retribution, in a chat with the Newsline expressed graved concern over the sale of illicit drugs in the area, which he said ‘have effected some youth and my young children are exposed to the abuse of narcotics.’ He narrated how drugs moved into the area and that it has grown into companies which are gradually developing into a clan that could become strong enough to resist the law. It has been proven that these criminals and some national security officers are in the dealing of drugs. Despite the danger it poses on the health and thoughts of many youngsters, narcotics are flowing on the Liberian street especially in Central Monrovia where a higher level of national security offices is concentrated. The problem of drug abuse in Liberia goes beyond just the users. Farmers are tempted to grow cannabis rather than other crops because its profits are higher and the drug can be trafficked relatively easily throughout the region, 100km and 150km from Monrovia. The Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) in June of last year simultaneously disposed of a huge consignment of narcotic drugs valued over L$24million in the 15 political sub-division of the country. In April of this year, DEA agents in Greenville, Sinoe County accused some law enforcement officers in the county of aiding drug traffickers. Apart from the cannabis grown in rural Liberia other synthetic drugs such as cocaine, Italian White, Dugee, morphine among others are found on the streets of Monrovia. Information gathered in the area indicated that some national security officers and the drugs dealers in central Monrovia are in a very close tie and the ghettos hardly get raid. According to an informant, who preferred anonymity, the only time ghettos get raided is when an order is issued from headquarters for a general raid which last took place in January of this year. Besides the general raid, the police often visit some of the ghettos on Self Interest Operations SIOs at which time the narcotics dealers organized some funds for them. For the ghetto at center street there is more than one dealer. Each of these dealers operates on certain day of the week in other to get their product going. According to a resident of Center Street, recently, one of the many ghettos has been attended to by the LNP in the area which they termed as a flow-show because other drug house is still functioning on Center Street. One of the areas noted for trade in drugs is the Casablanca “video center” on Center Street. Visiting the Casablanca “video center” (drugs center) for the first time you may mistake it as a mare video center or a place where “direct” (Marijuana Tea), is been sold, but rather this place is a hide out of many street thugs who rage terror in the Liberian society at night. Many of the thugs hidden in the area often venture the night streets ravaging the security of citizens by raiding valuables and also dealing injuries or possible death to some who hesitate in giving up their belongings. Apart from the Casablanca “gap” (drugs house), there are other gaps in the same area. An unfinished house opposite the drainage beside the previous LNP Metro station on Center Street. Speaking to some street thugs, identified as Abu and Joe, who have been dealing drugs and raided, they said that the master minds of the many armed robberies that happen at night are the drugs dealers. According to Joe, many other thugs often take “dangerous risk” (go armed robbing) at night and take their loots to the drugs dealers in exchange for drugs. This indicates that the strong urge to have narcotics in their thuggish body has giving the dealers the influence of a ruler, who could at any time instruct these thugs and they will obey no matter the risk. Joe ,said he was once raid on center by some member of the Police Support Unit (PSU), in the early part of July but got free based on the bagging between the police and the dealer. “In Vlagba, I was there the PSU came and raid us. After they raided us, they when strict to the dealer and the dealer ‘advised’ (pay ransom to) them and they let all of us that was raided to go,” he said. According to one ex-police officer, such influence becomes even more dangerous when the dealers also have influences on some national security by placing them on payroll. According to informant, every Sunday many thugs assemble in an area located in the Center-Lynch Street block where dealers issue “market” (Drugs) to some addicts, in other to keep their customer ship running. Verifications have been made that the exact location is behind the tailor shop opposite the Fofana store on Benson Street, approximatly 100 meters away from the LNP Depot.

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