[Monrovia, Liberia – April 17, 2024] 

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), acting through its Customs Department, has turned over sixty-nine (69) pieces of assorted mobile phones that were intercepted during an attempted smuggling operation into the country. The interception occurred at Roberts International Airport (RIA) on Saturday, April 13, where officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) intercepted a suitcase containing the 69 pieces of assorted mobile phones brought aboard the aircraft Air-Peace SIV-107.

Prime suspect Roland Dolo Sr. and accomplices were identified as the perpetrators who attempted to smuggle the phones via a bus from the airport tarmac through an illegal exit (Golf 9) next to the Presidential Lounge. Notably, Roland Dolo Sr. is employed as a staff and bus operator of the Justice Contractor Services Firm, an aircraft food catering company at RIA, whose bus was involved in the attempted smuggling of the mobile phones.

Customs turned over the mobile phones and suspects were promptly turned over to the Liberia National Police (LNP) on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, to facilitate an inter-agency investigation and subsequent prosecution in accordance with Liberian law. Speaking on behalf of the Customs Department at the handover ceremony, Abel Sneh, Manager of the Customs Anti-Smuggling & Investigation Unit (ASIU), commended the vigilance displayed by the AFL officers in detecting the phones.

He also emphasized the importance of vigilance among Customs officers and joint security personnel stationed at RIA in protecting the state and facilitating international trade. Manager Sneh reiterated that smuggling is a severe offense against the state, violating Section 1726 of the Modernized Customs Code of 2018, and punishable under Sections 12.11 and 15.80 of the Penal Law of Liberia as ‘Smuggling and Economic Sabotage.’

Manager Sneh urged members of the joint security to continue their efforts in assisting the LRA to mobilize domestic revenue for Liberia.

The suitcase in which the phones were discovered being opened by Customs officers to verify contents.