Sierra Leone arrests suspected traffickers of half tonne of cocaine

Ecuador’s Interior Ministry incinerates more than nine tons of cocaine seized in different operations, in Ecuador © Reuters/KAREN TORO

FREETOWN (Reuters) – Sierra Leone’s security forces said on Wednesday they had arrested three foreign nationals involved in the smuggling of half tonne (1,102 lb) of cocaine that was seized in neighbouring Liberia.

“These foreign nationals, who include a Liberian, a Guinean and a Lebanese, were alleged to have been members of the cartel involved in the trafficking of 520 kilograms of cocaine,” said Sierra Leone’s national security coordinator Abdulai Caulker in a statement.

The cocaine, worth $100 million, was seized by authorities in Liberia on Saturday with the help of U.S. intelligence, said Liberia’s Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Michael Jippley.

Liberia then alerted Sierra Leone to the presence of the traffickers who had escaped over its borders.

“There is no safe haven in Sierra Leone for drug traffickers and other criminals,” said the statement from Sierra Leone.

All the arrested individuals will be turned over to the authorities in Liberia for further investigation, it said.

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