General News of 2012-10-07

We Only Apprehend Drug Pedlars – NACOB Boss

Executive Director of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, says it is unfair for anybody to refer to his outfit as a “toothless bulldog” for failing to prosecute arrested drug peddlers.

The NACOB boss insists only the Attorney General’s Department has the capacity to prosecute people busted for engaging in illicit drug trade.

Speaking in an exclusive interview on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Mr Akrasi Sarpong explained that what his outfit mainly does is to act swiftly to apprehend drug traffickers, and after painstaking investigations with other state agencies, forwards the docket to the A-G’s office for the next line of action; which is prosecution.

“…NACOB arrests drug peddlers and together with the BNI, conducts investigations…When we effect the arrest of drug smugglers, it is up to the Attorney-General to prosecute them so people shouldn’t mix up the roles of these separate state bodies…We cannot prosecute offenders, we only help in investigations…,” he pointed out.

Border officials in charge of Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom Monday, September 24, made their biggest cannabis seizure in three years after containers arriving on a plane from Ghana were found with drugs worth 4.3million.

The drugs, which weighed around 1.5 tonnes, were found in three separate freight containers filled with fresh fruit and vegetables. They were tape-wrapped in compressed packages within boxes on the flight from Accra.

Just a day after the record seizure, another consignment of cocaine with a street value of 750,000, concealed inside plantains, within a larger freight consignment of fruit and vegetables from Ghana, was also seized by officials at the airport.

Following the seizure of the drugs, quite a lot of people have called for the NACOB boss' head for system failures.

Nicknamed “Crazy” Sarpong, perhaps for his no-nonsense approach in tackling the drug menace, the NACOB capo, in reaction to the calls, stressed that if for some particular reason, arrested drug traffickers have not been arraigned before court, then blame should be laid at the doorstep of the A-G’s department, adding that his outfit has on numerous occasions expressed concern over the non prosecution of some arrested drug smugglers.

He however insisted that his outfit is committed to fighting and arresting drug peddlers especially during this election period where politicians are known to do anything to raise money for their campaigns.

“The suspects are sent to court alright but if they’ve not been charged, NACOB cannot be blamed…We have done our part, A-G is responsible for preferring charges against drug offenders,…It is for the A-G to determine if the charges against them are strong or not,” he added.

Source: peacefmonline
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