Liberian Immigration Services receives vital equipment to combat smuggling of migrants & cross-border crimes

19-10-2020

MONROVIA   Motorcycles and office equipment were handed over to the Liberian Immigration Services by ONUDC to assist border officials and strengthen their resources in their daily fight against migrant smuggling and human trafficking. The list of items donated includes fourteen motorcycles, a silent generator, a digital camera, internet modems, a printer, scanner, cellphones, folders, envelopes and whiteboards.

José Manuel López Álvarez, from UNODC Monrovia with agents from the Liberian Immigration Services 

An assessment conducted by UNODC in 2018 revealed that border offices in Liberia lacked the crucial equipment, which affected their capacity to detect migrant smuggling cases as Liberian Immigration Service (LIS) officers had to patrol long distances on foot in rural areas. UNODC handed over the equipment on October 5th. The office supplies will increase border officials’ efficiency in their day to day duties to counter the smuggling of migrants and related crimes, including trafficking in persons.

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world with a high unemployment rate (85%) and rampant corruption at almost every level of the Liberian government. The country is recovering from a 14-year civil war where 250,000 people were killed and many thousands more fled the fighting. In 2014 the country was also affected by the worst Ebola epidemic in history[1].

In this context, managing the cross-border flow of people and goods is a daily challenge for border staff – customs, border officers, and immigration services - who often prevent cross border crimes with extremely limited resources in Liberia. UNODC is committed to providing continued support to West African countries to fight against these crimes and to protect and assist victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants.

LIS commended UNODC for its continued support.  “Assistance in the form of Training & Capacity Building as well as the recent donations of equipment enhances our collective fight against Trafficking in Person and other related cross border crimes. The LIS remains grateful to the UNODC for this Assistance, which will indeed go a long way in the enhancement of our operational capacity,” said Mr. Moses K. Yebleh, Acting Commissioner General of Immigration, in a statement.

 

Funded by Canada, the project called Strengthening the capacities of law enforcement and judiciary to effectively detect, investigate, and prosecute migrant smuggling in Ghana and Liberia is in line with UNODC’s mandate to combat the smuggling of migrants in West Africa by providing technical assistance. 

For more information:

The Daily Observer: UNODC Donates 14 Motorbikes to Combat Human Trafficking
Public Trust Media Group:Liberians & Foreigners Still Being Trafficked By Criminal Gangs
About Liberia
Monrovia. Liberia commits for the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI)