Pubdate: Tue, 28 Jun 2005
Source: Analyst, The (Liberia)
Copyright: 2005 Analyst Liberia
Author: J. Nathaniel Daygbor


DEA Boss

The Executive Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Col. James
Jaddah said about 45 per cent of Liberian youths live on drugs, most
of whom are ex-combatants.

Col. Jaddah said the most common drugs used by them are marijuana and
dugee. According to him the anti-drugs section statistics show that
80% of all ex-combatants fall within the ages of 12 to 30 years old
that are drugs. "40% of the ex-combatants use dugee while 60% use
cannabis," he noted.

Speaking at the celebration of the International Day against Drug
Abuse and Illicit Trafficking of controlled substances, yesterday at
the Gender Ministry, Col. Jaddah noted Liberia is very weak and
lenient to implement laws regarding the use of drugs, adding that all
drug related offenses are bailable les than US$100 even for drug barons.

Describing it as "peanuts for such a national crime" he noted that
those who used drug feel that it helps them. "It is true, but it makes
you to forget quickly and commit crimes unconsciously," Col. Jaddah
added. He named such crimes as rapping of girls, stealing, armed
robbery, dullness in school, disrespectfulness to parents, among others.

The DEA boss said that the concerns about uncivilized behavior and
policy initiatives to improve drugs control mechanism have shown that
the DEA needs to become a central repository with data collection and
research facilities.

He revealed that his agency is preparing to undertake more targeted
field operation such as the deployment of our personnel to all entry

At present the DEA has embarked on capacity building programs, a major
awareness and educational campaign, revision, strengthening and
harmonization of the existing drugs laws of Liberia, manpower
development, rehabilitation of office facilities, treatment centers
among others.

He however called on the government, local and international NGOs to
assist the agency with vehicles, computers, and generators so as to
facilitate the efficient and effective fight against drug trafficking
in the country.

Speaking also at the program was the acting Commissioner of CIVPOL;
Madam Ingrid Dagestad who said that the global village has to fight a
good fight to overcome the wrath of drug users.

Adding his voice to the others, the Secretary General of DEA,
Roosevelt Seakor said that some personnel of UNMIL, mainly of the
Nigerian contingent are living on dugee recently brought at the Robert
International Airport.

"I personally got those guys taking in drugs," he said, pointing out
that UNMIL has easy assess to drug trafficking because at all entry
points of the country "we do not search their belongings because we
feel that we are partners in progress.
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