Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police for Crime Services Francis Munu called on Sierra Leoneans to be patient with them [police] whist investigations are still on-going regarding the alleged cocaine bust at the Lungi International Airport.
In a telephone interview with Awoko, Munu said the police were still investigating the alleged cocaine scam and that a total of 19 people were recently charged to court on offences, including forcefully landing an aircraft in the country, unlawful possession of arms, and conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.
“We have charged them on such offences in order to enable us to continue with the cocaine investigations,” Munu explained to Awoko.
A total of 58 people were arrested by the police regarding the alleged cocaine scam, but 13 were later released – including Airport Manager John Brima – on grounds that the police had no evidence against them, according to Munu. On Thursday, 24th July, 19 people were charged to court.
Asked about the remaining number of people arrested, Munu said, they were still with the police but that he was not aware of where they [suspects] were being kept.
Munu said they [police] had not been able to charge the other suspects to court because investigations were still on-going and they have yet to get strong evidence against the remaining suspects. Asked whether that was not against the legal provision, Munu said,
“This is a long investigation and we [police] don’t want to prejudice the investigation …”
Munu said the police had colleagues who were helping in the alleged cocaine investigations.
“We have a lot of people interested in the investigations because it is an international crime,” he said. “FBI and Scotland Yard people are all helping us.”
Recently, President Ernest Koroma pledged his government’s commitment on a nationwide radio broadcast in ensuring that the country was not used as a transit point for the trafficking of drugs. Parliament is soon to receive a bill that addresses the punishment of drug traffickers