BY ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI
The latest news making the rounds is the arrest in Britain of a Ghanaian young lady who managed to outwit the Kotoka Airport security network to smuggle five Million Dollar worth of what is believed to be cocaine into Britain. The lady known as Nayele Ametefe who travelled on an Austrian passport is now being held in a British jail pending her trial.
Like the case involving former MP for Nkoranza Eric Amoateng who was also arrested and jailed for trafficking heroin in the United States of America, the case involving Ms Ametefe would not go away anytime soon as it would be the subject of discussions in radio and television studios and in most homes, offices and market places for a long time to come..
Since the arrest of Ms Ametefe the question on the lips of many people is how did this lady manage to carry the huge quantity of cocaine in her hand luggage through the kotoka international airport unnoticed and without being accosted by the security system and officials of the Narcotics Control Board?. Did the girl enjoy special privileges to be able to carry out the difficult task?
Is she working with a well connected network involving big guns in the nation? To deal with these difficult questions officials the narcotics control board came out to state that the arrest of Ms Ametefe happened through their collaboration with the British security authorities.
This meant that they were aware about the movements of Ms Ametefe as she was preparing to smuggle the illegal drugs out of Ghana. Not many people accept the claim by the Narcotics Control Board with some media outfits coming out state publicly that NACOBs claim is not true.
To make matters worse the security authorities in Britain later came out to deny ever collaborating with the Narcotics Control Board in the case involving Ms Ametefe. In fact that is after the Minister of Communication Dr Omane Boama expressed doubt about the statement put out by the Narcotics Control Board about their cooperation with their British counterparts.
This is not the first time the narcotic control board has claimed cooperating with foreign security agencies in the arrest of cocaine traffickers abroad.
As indicated in many cases a classic example was the arrest of former security boss at the Kotoka International Airport, Solomon Adelaquaye, in the United States for drug trafficking together with three Nigerians and a Columbian that were operating in the West Africa sub-region.
The Narcotic Control Board confirmed the arrest in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Yaw Akrasi Sarpong and claimed that the arrests were as a result of a corporation with the Drugs Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the Department of Justice of the United States of America.
The claim by NACOB regarding their collaboration with foreign countries might be true. However that arrangement to allow cocaine carriers to leave Ghana’s ports is not the best for it can be abused by either party in the arrangement.
The latest controversy over their claim in the arrest of Ms Ametefe has shown that all along the Narcotics Control Board might be playing games with the government and Ghanaians as a whole in the discharge of their duties. Henceforth Government must not accept the situation where the NACOB would through a so called cooperation with foreign security out fits allow people to push cocaine through our ports for such people to be arrested in Europe or America.
All such claims of cooperation with foreign security outfits by narcotic control board are not acceptable.
.For them to prove equal to the task, they must hence forth manage to arrest cocaine traffickers at our ports in Ghana. At least that is what they are paid to do but not to cooperate with foreign nations to arrest traffickers after they have escaped from Ghana with illegal drugs
The government was therefore right in dissolving the board of the narcotic control board as a step towards reshuffling officials of the executive arm of the board. The time has come for the establishment of a by bi-partisan commission to control the affairs of NACOB in line with the suggestion made by Dr Kwesi Anning of the Kofi Annan peace keeping training center.
Again there is the need for all front line security officials of our ports to be reexamined over their competence and loyalty to the state to be able to perform their duties in line with the rules governing them.
There must also be oversight intelligence teams to check NACOB officials in our ports as they go about their work. With these arrangements officials of NACOB would carry out their duties knowing that any attempt by them to sleep on the job to allow drug traffickers to travel out of our ports would be detected and such officials arrested
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