Monrovia -September 12,2023: Less than 24hrs after the Government of Liberia pronounced the suspicious confiscation of boxes of Moringa Tea at the Roberts International Airport as Ordinary, it has flip flopped indicating that the consignment contained illicit -drug.
In a release from the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism issued by Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie Tuesday September 12,2023, the Ministry stated that scientific t examination conducted by the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) using a test kit provided by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) show that the confiscated boxes earlier said to be ordinary Moringa Tea is proven to be an Methamphetamine or meth.
Earlier, it was reported by a local daily (FrontPage Africa) that a consignment of suspicious boxes in a bus escorted by the airport security Manager Samuel Freeman was arrested by members of the Arm Forces of Liberia stationed at the airport while using an unauthorized gate.
Upon arrest, Freeman told security apparatus that the consignment was owned by Nora Finda Bundo, Chief of Protocol for President George Weah. The boxes which was placed in the custody of customs were unboxed Monday September 11,2023 by airport authorities and referred to as ordinary Moringa Tea and hang over to the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency for further investigation. However, further testing done by the entity with help from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes reveals the consignment being an illicit drug called methamphetamine or meth.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) , a United States of America Government entity, states methamphetamine (meth) is a synthetic stimulant that is addictive and can cause considerable health adversities that can sometimes result in death. Meth can be smoked, snorted, injected, or taken orally and is often used with other substances.
Someone using meth may experience a temporary sense of heightened euphoria, alertness, and energy. This is because meth increases the amount of dopamine, a natural chemical, in the brain. Dopamine is involved in body movement, motivation, and reinforcing rewarding behaviors. Meth rapidly releases high levels of dopamine into reward areas of the brain, making people want to continue to use meth.
Meth not only changes how the brain works, but also speeds up the body’s systems to dangerous, sometimes lethal, levels—increasing blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates. People who repeatedly use meth may also experience anxiety, paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, and mood disturbances.
According to SAMHSA, about 2 million people aged 12 years or older use meth in any given year, while about 500 people each day try meth for the first time.
According to the release, the substance is banned under the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes rules. “The Ministry of Justice, through the Joint Security of Liberia, has confirmed that the consignment of boxes it intercepted containing herbal plants – packaged and in natural form – at the Roberts International Airport reveals a presence of methamphetamine. As part of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency’s investigation, which included scientific examination, samples tested revealed the presence of the illicit drug, which is banned under the rules of United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes, UNODC.”
It further calls on meaningful authorities to include LDEA, LNP and the NAS to expand its investigation into the matter.
“The Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musah Dean has with immediate effect ordered the Joint Security of Liberia, as well as the LDEA, LNP and the NSA, to expand their investigations on the importation of the illegal drugs with the aim of bringing to justice all those involved.”
Meanwhile, Chief Security at the airport Samuel Freeman has been indefinitely suspended by authorities of the Roberts International Airport pending investigation.
However, many young people have fallen prey to drugs abuse including a famous substance called Kush.