The Sierra Leone Police have freed a total of 13 people who were recently arrested following the arrival and forceful landing of an aircraft with some quantity of powder alleged to be cocaine at the Lungi international airport on the 13th July.
According to the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Crime Services, Francis Munu, they [police] have decided to release the 13 people because, there was no evidence to prosecute them in the court of law over the alleged cocaine scam.
Following the arrival and forceful landing of the aircraft recently at the airport, a total of 58 people were arrested by Police, including the airport Manager, John Brima, for interrogation. However, police could not give all the names of those released so far, but one of them, is the Manager of the airport authority, John Brima
Speaking to the press yesterday at the Police Headquarters, the AIG Crime Services, Francis Munu said, they are currently investigating to know the criminal network that the alleged cocaine deal involves and that one of the key suspects, whose name the police did not reveal, had been the owner of a company in Sierra Leone and one in New York .
Speaking further, Munu said, “We want to establish their [suspects] assets – those involved in drugs normally have a lot of assets”, and they [police] are currently working with Interpol to get the criminal profile of those involved.
Munu said, the Police are also investigating which of the drug syndicates is operating in the West African sub region or the one that was involved in the case of Sierra Leone.
He confirmed that they have received a team from the Serious Organized Crime Agency in the UK to give forensic support to the police “since we are lacking in that area”.
Munu said “This is the biggest crime since I joined the police force”.
Speaking on the constitutional provision over the detention of those arrested, Munu said in such a case, the law provides for 10 days detention which expires today (Wednesday) and as such those in police custody would be charged to court tomorrow on offences ranging from unlawful entry into our airport, violating our airspace, to malicious damage, whiles they [police] would be investigating the case of the alleged cocaine.
Munu said, they are not expecting to come out with a conclusive report soon as it has to take time. “Not that we are not progressing but rather, the complexity of the investigation and the limited resources we have make it impossible for us to move the way people are expecting’. By John Baimba Sesay