Ghana sheds cocaine label

Ghana is no longer tagged as a cocaine destination point by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, says Mr. Martin Amidu, Minister of the Interior.

He attributed the feat to the hard work and commitment of the security agencies towards the fight against illicit drugs. Until early this year, the minister said the UN Office of Drugs and Crime had tagged Ghana as a “Cocaine Coast.” “I am happy to say that this unenviable tag has been removed; courtesy our resolute commitment to the fight against illicit drugs,” Mr. Amidu stated.

He was addressing the opening ceremony of the ECOWAS strategic level seminar on organised crime and human security in Accra yesterday. It was organised by the African Centre for Strategic Studies, an agency within the United States Department of Defence, in collaboration with the government, to discuss the impact of transnational crimes on member states.

Organised crime involves all bunkering, drug and human trafficking, money laundering, cyber crimes, trafficking in small arms and light weapons and the importation of fake medicines. Mr. Amidu noted that transnational organised crime including the threats of terrorism impacted negatively on human security.

He called for a concerted effort to curb organised crime and strengthen human security in West Africa. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, urged West African governments to harmonise their legislations on security to combat organised crime in region.

He said organised crime was a threat to economic stability and therefore, urged them to device effective measures to halt the practice. Ambassador Gbeho said the ever-increasing organised crime in the region called for collective effort of governments, institutions and civil society organisations to fight the menace. “We need to put our resources together and improve on our information collection and dissemination capacities regarding the routes or organised crime smuggling.””

Ambassador Gbeho said organised crime had gained notoriety in recent years due to its exponential growth, its scope and weakening of governments and their institutions, adding that “unless we upgrade our continued strength, our region will be devastated by all the ill effects we have seen in other parts of world”.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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