Popular Sierra Leonean cocaine convict goes to jail in America

It would be recalled that the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) put a ransom on the head of Mr. Gibril Kamara alias G.K, in the sum of Le25 Million for his arrest or any information leading to his arrest. Gibril Kamara was wanted for the offence of Conspiracy to traffic cocaine into Sierra Leone. Inspector Samura, Police Spokesman said that the increase of the ransom from Le10 Million to Le25 Million showed the seriousness of the police to investigate the matter. The Spokesman “we would leave no stone unturned to ensure that he is arrested and prosecuted,” Inspector Samura stressed and added that they have contacted the International Police (INTERPOL) on the search for GK. He pointed out that GK must be on the run because he has certain questions to answer – if he did not, he should have stayed in the country. Responding to the allegations that GK is the son of the Inspector General of Police, Brima Acha Kamara, the Director of Media and Public Relations Inspector, Ibrahim Samura, said that GK is not Kamara’s son and that they are not related. In addition to saying that the IG has never even seen GK, Inspector Samura noted that GK is 41 years-old and Kamara is 52, so it is highly improbable that GK is Kamara’s son. Inspector Samura noted that GK is a Temne and the IG is a Limba, another observation to show they are not related.

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It is believed that Gibril Kamara and a few powerful politicians in Sierra Leone, were allegedly knee deep in the cocaine trade in Sierra Leone, until a plane shipment went afoul in 2008. Gibril was reportedly tipped off by some people in power to escape to Guinea. Some government officials were complicit in his escape and the late Lansana Conteh’s conteh girlfriend was enroute to Conakry with a convoy of three luxury SUV vehicles filled with foreign currency and precious metals. The convoy was reportedly stopped at the border and searched; however, word came from Freetown to release the convoy as the late President had threatened force if the said convoy was not released. Later, according to wikileaks the US Cable the scenario was a hoax as it was Gibril Kamara who was been smuggled out of the country. In Liberia, Mr. Gibrill Kamara was rounded up by a group of DEA officials in collaboration with Liberian Security Agents and was whisked to the United States of America-New York where he was detained for trial. The Manhattan Federal Court indictment documents state that the Defendant was charged in Connection with Historic Joint Undercover Operation in the Republic of Liberia. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, revealed that Gibrilla Kamara had pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Judge, William H. Pauley III to conspiring to import cocaine into the United States of America.

It would be recalled that he arrived in the Southern District of New York on May 30, 2010, following his arrest and transfer from Liberia in connection with “Operation Relentless, a joint undercover operation between the United States of America Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Government of Liberia.  According to the Indictment to which Gibril Kamara pleaded guilty filed at the Manhattan Federal Court and other information in the public record: Gibril Kamara gave his age as 42, a Sierra Leonean, who has been active in the recruitment of South American drug trafficking organizations to establish operations in West African countries including Liberia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.  Mr. Kamara has made efforts to corrupt and influence Government officials within the West African region in order to establish safe havens for the receipt, storage, and trans-shipment of thousands of kilograms of cocaine the Manhattan Federal Court documents showed. In particular, Kamara attempted to bribe high-level officials in the Liberian Government in order to protect shipments of vast quantities of cocaine, and to use Liberia as a trans-shipment point for further distribution of the cocaine in Africa and Europe. In furtherance of these efforts, Kamara met with two individuals he knew to be Liberian government officials –- the Director and Deputy Director of the Republic of Liberia National Security Agency (“RLNSA”) –- both of whom unbeknown to Kamara were working jointly with the DEA.

In a number of meetings involving these Liberian officials, Kamara also met with a confidential source working with DEA the Chief Security, who purported to be a business partner and confidante to the Director of the RLNSA. Kamara exchanged a series of emails and telephone calls, and held numerous meetings with the Chief Security and the cooperating Liberian officials in order to negotiate prices and make specific arrangements to secure transportation of cocaine from South America through Liberia. The shipments included, but were not limited to, 4,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia. In the course of these meetings in which the Chief Security was often present, Kamara understood that the Chief Security, who was to be paid in the form of cocaine, would send a portion of his share to Ghana, from where it would be imported into New York aboard commercial flights. Kamara pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine, knowing and intending that the cocaine would be imported into the United States. This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Gibril Kamara will be sentenced by Judge Pauley on February 3, 2012,(Today). He should have been sentenced last Friday, but was postponed to today due to pleadings made on his affidavit that he has no property bought from the purchase and sale of drugs and claimed that he is  his family main source of livelihood and provider of everything including that of his children.Gibril Kamara was charged along with Ali Sesay and Cherenor Jalloh. It is reported that Sesay also pleaded guilty in March 2011 and is awaiting sentencing. Charges against Jalloh have been dismissed.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the Special Operations Division of the DEA, the DEA Lagos Country Office, the Office of International Affairs of the U.S. Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Liberia and government officials of the Republic of Liberia and its National Security Agency for their efforts. The prosecution was being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. The Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jenna M. Dabbs, Michael M. Rosensaft, Christopher Lavigne, and Randell W. Jackson are in charge of the prosecution. The United States of America Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the premier drug enforcement organization in the world and the only single-mission federal agency dedicated to drug law enforcement. Using unique operational and intelligence capabilities, the men and women of DEA identify, investigate, disrupt, and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations and those who facilitate them, remove drugs and violent criminals, and fight the diversion of licit drugs. The Mission of the DEA is to  enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States; bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those involved in the illegal growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances that are part of or destined for illicit drug markets in the United States; and, recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on domestic and international markets.

Its vision further includes the following seven priorities, which are to disrupt and dismantle the major drug trafficking supply organizations and their networks, including organizations that use drug trafficking proceeds to fund terror. To attack the financial infrastructure of drug trafficking organizations and prevent the diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substance and listed chemicals from legitimate channels including the Internet, while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for medical, commercial and scientific needs. To enhance the collection and sharing of intelligence to predict shifts in trafficking trends, to identify all components of the major drug supply organizations, and to support counterterrorism and to strengthen partnerships with other domestic and foreign law enforcement counterparts to maximize the impact of their worldwide operations;  Support drug demand reduction initiatives and give assistance to community coalitions and drug prevention officials; Develop future DEA leaders who reflect the richness of diversity in America.

The annual budget for DEA’s operation for the financial year 2011 was $2.02 billion. With about 226 domestic offices organized in 21 divisions throughout the United States and works closely with states and local partners to investigate and prosecute violators of drug laws and those who facilitate them. DEA has 85 offices in 65 countries around the world. Among government agencies, DEA has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing drug investigations abroad and works in partnership with foreign law enforcement counterparts.

Mr. Gibril Kamara will be sentenced today for a period of not less than 17 years minimum and 25 years maximum by the Manhattan Federal Court in New York.

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