BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – A prominent businessman arrested by the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency detachment in Grand Bassa for illegal possession of narcotic substances reappeared in court on Wednesday.
Charles A. Edward, a well-known Nigerian national who owns the Garden Park entertainment center on Kilby Street in Buchanan, was arrested on October 26 by the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency at the F&H Hotel in Hardlandsville at about 8:00 a.m. with illegal drugs.
Police say Edward had 414 grams of cocaine worth US$16,544 and 58.8 grams of heroin worth US$2,058. Due to larger than usual quantity of the drugs, upon his arrest, Edward was taken to Monrovia and brought back to Buchanan on Saturday, October 27.
An LDEA team headed by the deputy director general for operations, Marvin Sackor, turned Edward over to the Buchanan Magisterial Court on Saturday.
The case, the State v. Charles A. Edward and Fadii Nasser, began on Saturday. Atty. Isaac Yorcee argued that Fadii Nasser, the owner of the F&H hotel, should be arrested and brought to court because he is one of the defendants and his absence in court is a threat to the state. Naser was charged with facilitating the crime.
Public defender Paul P. Jarvar argued that Edward, who was present in court, be granted bail because the charges against him were bailable offenses. At the end of the first court date, Magistrate Richard Browne issued a writ of arrest for Nasser and allowed Edward to be released on bail.
In response to the case, Sackor says his agency will remain vigilant in their operations to track down drug dealers in the country. He said intelligence fed to the LDEA suggested that Edward has been using his cover as a businessman to import and export drugs.
“It is a boost for us, as I always said to them [LDEA agents] to remain vigilant because the major drugs traffickers within the communities are using their local businesses to hide their activities,” Sackor said. “So, we have to be careful how we approach them because if a guy just sells alcohol and he is building upstairs buildings, hotels, and motels, and he got luxury cars around the place, you have to investigate them. Under our laws, we have the right to do that.”
The Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency has been active in Grand Bassa in the past year, making several arrests that have seen perpetrators gone to trial. However, the former LDEA commander in the county, Joseph Targedine, has said the government needs to be more active in rehabilitating drug users by construct rehabilitation centers in the county.
Featured photo by Sampson David