Liberia: Simeon Taylor Reacts to DEA's Claim of Marijuana Discovery At His Home

Grand Cape Mount — A former Grand Cape Mount County senatorial candidate, Simeon Taylor, has termed as a calculated ploy intended to besmear his character following an accusation made by the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA). The LDEA said it discovered a huge quantity of marijuana at Taylor's residence in the county.

Taylor, a renowned businessman, who is engaged into mining and real estate ventures, came second in the last senatorial by-election in Grand Cape Mount.

The election was triggered following the death of Senator Edward Dagoseh.

It can be recalled that the LDEA, through its Director of Communications, Michael Geleplay, told ECOWAS Radio Coffee Break program on Wednesday that a consignment of 176 kilogram of high grade marijuana worth thousands of USD was found at Taylor's home.

"In Grand Cape Mount County at the home of Hon. Simeon Taylor, one of the former Senatorial contestants, 176kg of high grade marijuana was arrested following a search and seizure warrant. The occupants in the house fled the scene and the former contestant was not seen. However, we exerted efforts to get in touch with him because we needed to establish who could take ownership of the drug that was discovered in his house. The LDEA has launched an investigation, and unfortunately, we have not been able to get the honorable man," he stated.

Geleplay continued: "According to the Honorable man, he left the county and he's in Monrovia and we wouldn't be able to see him. So we are doing everything we can to make sure that those that will claim ownership of the drug will be investigated and found culpable for illegal possession of drugs."

But in an exclusive interview with FrontPageAfrica via telephone on Wednesday, January 15, Taylor disclosed that for a little over a year, he has not been a resident of the house in which the LDEA officers claimed to have discovered the marijuana.

He pointed out that in mid-December of 2019, he received a call from an occupant of the house that some LDEA officers had besieged his property in Kongo, Grand Cape Mount based upon an intelligence that drugs were being kept there.

Taylor noted that the accusation levied against him is also intended to stop him contesting the October 2020 senatorial election.

"I have a house in Mano River Kongo, but I have not been a resident in that house for more than one year. In my very room, I have two associate magistrates who just came and asked me to live there. One LDEA and a police man are in the other room. My partners that work with me in the mining sector are in one of the rooms; one Franklin lives in the outside room. He works for me in the mining sector," he stated.

"The outside bathroom of the two rooms that are outside is where the LDEA officers claimed that they found the opium. How did they find it?" he inquired.

The Happening

He expressed concern over the decision taken by officers of the LDEA to effectuate a search and seizure operation on a holiday without his presence.

According to him, the officers who had stormed his home at the time, did not come with a warrant from the court on Sunday, but chose to sleep at his home without his knowledge.

The businessman maintained that though he expressed concern to the DEA authorities in Monrovia over the manner and form in which the matter was being handled, he has never been invited by the agency for any investigation.

"One Sunday in December last year, I was in Monrovia, LDEA officers went and surrounded my whole house in Mano River Kongo. They said they got intelligence that drug was in the house. I told them fine; but do you have a search warrant? They said yes and I told them to go ahead. They didn't check the house that same day. They slept there and came back on Monday morning with a search warrant from the court".

He maintained: "They came back and said they found the drugs in the place. I told them to take it to the court. I called the LDEA boss and said now your men are claiming that they found drugs in my house, can you tell me how it got there? He said 'No'."

He pointed out that previously, he requested the LDEA officers to arrest the occupants of the house for investigation, but the officers allegedly refused to do so.

Taylor admitted that though he is the owner of the house, he cannot be held liable for the unlawful actions of the occupants because, crimes are not transferable under the laws of Liberia.

According to him, the consignment of marijuana was released to the LDEA officers based upon the order of the magisterial court in Mano River while he was in Monrovia.

"I have been in Monrovia. When they came with the search warrant they said somebody name George brought the drugs in the house; and I told them to arrest the person because when you have a property, those that are residents there, you don't have control over their attitude. What they are doing, you may not be in the know of it," he stated.

Unfair

Taylor termed as "unfair" the manner in which he is being dragged into the matter by authorities of the LDEA.

He believes that the matter is being orchestrated by those who see him as a force to reckon with in the ensuing senatorial elections.

"Because of politics, they decided to vilify my character. They refused to arrest the people who are residents in the house to give them information or to conduct the investigation as to whom is connected to this drug they said they found. Why are they attributing it to my name? I am not a resident of the house and the drug they said they found was not in my room. Why are they calling my name? That is unfair. Realistically, I am innocent to this.

"I am a candidate for this coming election; they see me as a major contender and they are trying to destroy my character. What am I doing with marijuana? I am a businessman in the mining sector; I have an excavator there; I am into real estate; I don't drink and smoke; what am I doing with marijuana?" he maintained.

Assisting the occupants

The former senatorial candidate disclosed that as a politician, he has been assisting some individuals, including prominent citizens to reside in his house free of charge.

He emphasized the need for authorities of the LDEA to take the matter to court to accord him the opportunity to clear his name.

"Nobody in that house is renting from me. I always like to be good to people. But since that thing happened in December, it has been long. I told them to carry the case to court; but they only took the marijuana there. Under our laws, crimes are not transferrable. Even my own son-once he passes 18 years old, the law holds him for any crime that he commits," he added.

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