Dozens of officers of the Liberia National Police force are said to be heavily engaged in drug trafficking, Police Inspector General Clarence Massaquoi has admitted, saying every institution has bad apples.
He, however, told journalists at a press briefing Sunday that authorities are bent on ensuring that professionalism is upheld among its ranks and file.
"Yes, there are bad apples in the Police and there are Police officers who are involved in the drug business," Massaquoi admitted.
According to him, the bad action of some officers has nothing to do with salary or incentives. However, he promised to take drastic action against any police officer, including dismissal if they go contrary to the law.
"No matter who that officer is; whether you are a ranking officer or not we will deal with you accordingly."
The police chief spoke Sunday at the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill when a team of Highway Patrol 62 intercepted a black Nissan X-Terra, Plate NG 2143, operated by the patrolman Samwon Doe with a huge quantity of drugs.
Patrolman Samwon Doe, of the Police Support Unit, was arrested Sunday, 5 January along the Bomi highway with 145kilograms of marijuana worth about L$966,000.00. Two unidentified occupants of the vehicle are said to be on the run.
Inspector General Massaquoi said the two occupants, who were riding with Officer Doe, suddenly disembarked the vehicle after they recognized the Police mobile, thereby creating suspicion which led to the immediate search of the car.
At the same time the police authority has with immediate effect dismissed Officer Samwon Doe from the LNP and turned him over to the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) for further investigation.
This brings to two the latest incident involving police officers directly caught smuggling cannabis. On 9 November, 2013 the government joint security forces arrested the commander of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's escort motorcade division Perry Dolo of the Liberia National Police, while smuggling marijuana from neighboring Sierra Leone to Liberia.