MONROVIA, June 17 (LINA) -The House of Representatives has concurred with the Liberian Senate to amend the Penal Law of Liberia Chapter 14 under the Title “Offenses Involving Danger to the Person” by adding Subchapter E under the Title “Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of 2014”, amending thereto an Act creating the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Members of the Lower House made the concurrence Tuesday after the House’s Joint Committee on National Security and Judiciary submitted its report to Plenary on a communication requesting the House's concurrence for amendment of the Chapter.
According to the Liberia News Agency, the communication was sponsored by Bong County Senator Jewel Howard Taylor and co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Nagbe of Sinoe County.
In the report, the committee stated that it conducted series of meetings and consultations and gathered that concurring with the Liberian Senate to amend the chapter would put the DEA in a better position to combat the trafficking and consumption of narcotics and other banned substances in Liberia.
The House Joint Committee informed Plenary that West African countries, particularly Liberia, have been recognized as transit points for international drug traffickers, notably cocaine, making reference to the World Drug Report of 2012 released by the United Nations.
The Joint Committee also noted that concurring with the Liberian Senate on the passage of the Act will enhance the probation of the trans-border trade in narcotics and banned substances.
The committee, comprising 14 Representatives, believes that the passage of the Act will increase the coordination and information sharing between the DEA and other law enforcement agencies in the country as well as regional partners.
Meanwhile, the House’s Joint Committee disclosed that while the bill was being debated in committee room, it was discovered that the Act that created the DEA does not provide or spell out any clear-cut penalty or punishment for would-be violators.
This, according to the committee, has been obstructing and limiting the power of the DEA, adding that the amendment of Chapter 14 under the “Offenses Involving Danger to the Person”, and by adding thereto Subchapter E under the Titled “Controlled Drugs and substances Act of 2014, the issue of reliance will be addressed.
Members of the House of Representatives were unanimous in concurring with the Liberian Senate to amend the Chapter.