The authorities in Liberia say they’ve lost all trace of four suspected drug dealers linked to a $100m (£80m) cocaine shipment, after a trial jury unexpectedly acquitted them.
Last year, with assistance from the US and Brazil, Liberian security officials seized a container with more than 500 kilos of cocaine inside.
Four men – from Liberia, Portugal, Lebanon and Guinea-Bissau – were arrested in what was seen at the time as one of Liberia’s biggest successes against drug smugglers.
But last week a jury in the capital Monrovia found them not guilty.
The justice minister condemned the decision, saying it had brought international ridicule on Liberia. He vowed to re-arrest them but they have since fled.
Liberian authorities have launched a manhunt for the suspects.