Liberia: Defendants in U.S.$100 Million Multiple Money Laundering Crimes Plead Not Guilty

Monrovia — Defendants who were charged by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County with the crimes of money laundering, illegal possessions of drugs, illegal importation of drugs and criminal conspiracy have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The defendants, appearing at Criminal Court “C” Thursday, pleaded innocent to the crime after being arraigned in open court.

The state is expected to begin the production of evidence next Wednesday.

The four defendants Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo, Makki Admeh Issam and Oliver A. Zayzay, and others to be identified, are linked to a US$100,000,000 (One Hundred Million) money laundering case.

They were indicted for commissioning the crime of Money Laundering, Unlicensed Possession of Controlled Drug, Unlicensed Importation of Controlled Drugs and Criminal Conspiracy.

The four counts in the indictment, which was brought down against them noted that Malam Conte, Adulai Djibri Djalo and Makki Admeh Issam, Oliver A. Zayzay, and others to be identified, conspired, colluded, and facilitated to commit the crime of Money Laundering, which is a Felony of the First Degree, Unlicensed Importation of Controlled Drug or Substance, Unlicensed Possession of Controlled Drugs or Substance which are also Felony of the First Degree and Criminal Conspiracy, Felony of Second Degree.

Defendant Makki Ahmed Issam, a resident of Sinkor along with co-defendants Adulai Djibril Djalo and Oliver Allen Zayzay were turned over to the government on Thursday, October 6, through Lorenzo Pehlam, Deputy Director for Operations, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency (LDEA) for allegedly trafficking drugs between the Liberian and Sierra Leonean borders as well as money laundering and criminal conspiracy.

The Government of Sierra Leone arrested and turned over to its Liberian counterpart the three men who were allegedly involved in the shipment of 520kg of cocaine valued at US$100m.

The defendants on October 1, concealed in 28 cartons of pig feet labeled with Alegra foods which were seized at the SONIT Liberia Incorporated compound, Topoe village, Japanese Freeway, Montserrado County.

During the background investigation, police said it was also established that on October 1, a Lebanese man, Co-defendant Issam, was seen at the Fresh Frozen Food company located at Bong Mines Pearl with Defendant Conte negotiating for the purchase of the container marked MNBU4070592 on behalf of Malai Conte and Adulai Djibri Djalo.

Defendant Issam accordingly escaped upon the arrest of co-defendant Conte and subsequently fled to neighboring Sierra Leone along with Co-defendants Oliver A. Zayzay and Adulai Djibri Djalo.

Their indictment noted that the act of the Defendants is contrary to Section 15.2 of the Money Laundering Act, 2.2(b) of the Penal Law of Liberia, and against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

Also, the indictment states that the acts of the Defendants are contrary to Section 14.102 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act 2014 and 2.2(b) of the Penal Law of Liberia as well as against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

In the same vein, the indictment noted that the defendant’s acts are contrary to Sections 107 and 111 of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Acts 2014 and 2.2(b)of the Penal Law of Liberia, and they also hindered 4LCLR Title 26, Section 10.4 (1)(2)(3)(4)(5) and 4LCLR, Title 26, Section 2.2(b) of the Penal Law of Liberia and against the peace and dignity of Liberia.

They have been arraigned before the First Judicial Circuit, Criminal Court ‘C’ for Montserrado, in its November Term, to answer to said charges before them.

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