(Monrovia, May 27, 2020): The Customs Department of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has received a donation of Testing kits for precursor chemicals and explosives from the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The equipment will be used by Customs to uncover smuggling of narcotic drugs, dangerous chemicals and other harmful substances into the country. The donation, valued at over US$20,000, contains 600 boxes of devices that will be distributed at Customs Business Offices (CBOs).

Presenting the donation to Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah on behalf of the WCO, Liberia’s Customs Commissioner Saa Saamoi said the donation is under the World Customs Organization’s Program Global Shield (PGS) initiative aimed at combating illicit diversion and trafficking of high-risk commodities used to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

LRA Commissioner General Nah described the Authority’s engagement with the WCO “as very important” for the advancement of Liberia’s customs program.

He said the testing equipment will play a useful role in helping to boost the LRA customs border management operations in detecting dangerous chemicals.

“This donation is very laudable and shows that we are going beyond just training. Getting the tools to work with is critical to the transformation of customs,” the CG said.   

He urged customs officers to remain vigilant in their line of duty, especially by ensuring safe and secure entry of goods into the country, while stressing the need for strong collaboration with other state security actors to support government’s border and security coordination efforts.

The LRA, with WCO’s support, has trained at least 70 persons including Customs staff and officers from other border-related security agencies including the Liberia National Police, Liberia Immigration Service and the Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency in detecting and halting advanced and illicit chemicals and narcotic drugs from entering the country.

The WCO’s latest donation is under the WCO’s Security project for Central and West Africa region aimed at boosting Liberia’s customs operation.

In February, the WCO, under the project, also donated a Raman Spectrometer Chemical Database equipment used for chemical threat identification, detection of explosive devices, and narcotics classification.