By Arthur Caulker
Intelligence from Europe reached the security sector in Sierra Leone that a certain ship was traveling with contraband goods; cocaine, arms and ammunition and the container was arrested on the 22nd July 2022 after it traveled from different countries which made the then Inspector General of Police, Ambrose M. Sovula together with other police officers had 72 hours of sleepless night. At the end of inspection the press was informed that the container only contained Gizzards.
June 5th 1975 was a historic day diamond turned to stone under President Dr. Siaka Problyn Stevens.
On the 15th July, 2008 Marine Foreign Nationals and some policemen/civilians working in and around the airport at Lungi were also arrested for the offense of trafficking cocaine. That was certified by the Pharmacy Board. Some people were convicted for the cocaine but when the substance was burnt, it was a white powdery substance.
According to reliable source, the container reached our SierraLeone Ports – the Queen Elizabeth 11 Quay on Friday 22 July, 2022 and went through scanning as a preliminary check out but the police alleged that they were not satisfied. So they asked that the container be taken to Kingtom Police Mess for thoroughly scrutiny instead of taking it to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) or the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOCU) at Hastings.
On that same day, almost all the top security officers including the military faded off, leaving the white 40ft container in the hands of the police with the Kingtom police mess gate closed.
The Police said that journalists should have press view of the content in the container on Monday.
At about 8:45 am on Monday, we went to Kingtom but the door was tight fit; no civilian was given access.
We waited till 10am as proposed by Head of Police Media, Assistant Commissioner, Brima Kamara (Media One) but still nobody could talk to the press until the Minister of Information,Mohamed Rahman Swaray joined the press. He knocked at the door and one of the police officers opened the gate before all of use (press) rushed into the building.
Within 30 minutes, the former IG Sovula came with a convoy, alighted and walked to the container. He called for the Fire Force, Ambulance and waited for National Revenue Autority(NRA), Office of National Security (ONS), CID officials and other military officers.
There was just a small silver padlock on the container which was opened.
Surprisingly, the container was not in fact having any seal for identification nor was the container full with gizzards but rather it was empty at the top.
Police officers were called to help do the labor work; transfer of gizzards to another frozen container.
The container was offloaded for two days and nothing of police interest was found, so the police Media Director addressed the press and we departed.
I have never seen any half loaded container from other countriesto Africa including Sierra Leone. Why was this container not handed over to TOCU? Why was the then IG so instrumental in this container issue rather than his subordinate?
The I. G threatened us that we should all wait for experts to open the container but till the whole exercise was concluded I did not see any experts.
To conclude, why until now the importer of the container is not known as the former IG said ‘we should not be interested in the importer as that is not important’.
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