Cocaine Aircraft Abandoned at Sierra Leone’s National Airport: Deja-Vu all Over Again?

Reuters reports that an aircraft carrying 700 kilos of cocaine was abandoned on the runway of Freetown’s Lungi Airport in the early hours of Sunday morning. The pilots reportedly fled after abandoning the airplane. Sierra Leonean authorities also found several assault rifles and ammunition on board the abandoned aircraft.

This is not the first time Sierra Leone has emerged as a destination for drugs. A year ago, I wrote a blog post after reading a Miami Herald story about the siezuere in Venezuela of a Sierra Leone–bound airplane carrying 2.5 tons of cocaine. Due to the increased policing of traditional drug routes into Europe, it seems West Africa is increasingly being used by international drug cartels as a conduit for their Europe-bound product. Makes sense to me. Lax border controls, spotty security at air- and seaports, and corrupt officials are vital ingredients for the international drug trade and and all are abundant in West Africa, including Sierra Leone. Major drug seizures have been carried out in Guinea-Bissau and Ghana as well. Yahoo News reports that the aircraft was marked with a fake Red Cross emblem.

Voice of America just reported that several people—among them the chief of airport police, the airport manager, and the control tower operator—have been arrested and are being questioned. Yahoo News also counts “three Colombians, two Mexicans, a Venezuelan national and a US citizen” among those arrested.

Apparently, President Koroma took the weapons found at the scene back to Freetown in his presidential vehicle. I can’t help but wonder, though, who gets to keep the cocaine.

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UPDATE: Agence France Presse reports that 58 people, including many foreign nationals, have been detained in this case. Police investigations are ongoing.


3 thoughts on “Cocaine Aircraft Abandoned at Sierra Leone’s National Airport: Deja-Vu all Over Again?

  1. Pingback: Sierra-Leone » Another dredge bought by Sierra Gold

  2. Amen, sister, Amen!!

    I bet LiLo, Amy Winehouse, and Pete Dougherty could plough through a planeload of cocaine like diabetics go through insulin. 🙂

    And you’re right, cocaine is totally an elite drug. Where do you think mandatory minimums for crack come from? To get the same jail time that a gram of crack warrants you’d need something like FIVE times the amount of powder—read rich party people variety—cocaine.

    The world is what it is. I get the feeling though that Sierra Leone was only meant to be a transit point, not a destination for the drugs. They would probably have ended up somewhere in London or Paris. But I’ve also heard Freetown’s got a bit of a cocaine culture now.


  3. Fly in the cocaine triumvirate- Pete Dougherty, Kate Moss, & Amy Winehouse and they’ll most certainly take care of the cocaine on that airplane! If there’s a little left, you can bring in Lindsay Lohan. I have a soft spot for LiLo, and I know you have one too. With all that cocaine, she’d probably have sexytimes with both of us, but hey, that would be a hell of an improvement over Samatha Ronson.

    Jokes aside, who do you think consumes all this cocaine? Answer- rich, “posh” city-types. If they did a bust up of every party in London, they would probably would definitely cut down most of London’s drug problem. Because these people are the “elite”, no one has the balls to arrest them. How many times Amy Winehouse has done cocaine in the open, photographed, and no one has done a single thing? Or Kate Moss, or Pete Dougherty?? There is a celebrity culture that in a completely perverse manner actually encourages this sort of behavior.

    Now, if a man/woman of color takes cocaine, you know the police will be on their asses, asap. If it is a white, beautiful “posh” girl, you know that the police will 90% of the time let her off with a “warning”! WTF?!?!?!?!

    What do you think?


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