General News Wed, 20 May 2009

Cocaine Intercepted At Tema Port

Officials say there is hard evidence that Ghana has since January this year become increasingly unattractive to drug barons and peddlers, thanks to a number of stringent measures introduced by the Mills administration.

Tuesday’s haul is believed to be the biggest since Prof John Mills became President on January 7, and ordered a major clampdown on drug trafficking nationwide. Sources close to NACOB say the drugs were concealed in a 40-foot-container, which arrived at the port from South America days earlier.

Police have arrested two members of staff of SECO Agency, a leading clearing agency at the Tema port to assist in investigations.

NACOB boss ACP Robert Ayalingo confirmed the latest cocaine haul to Citi News late Tuesday night but declined to give details. Ahead of Tuesday’s arrests, Interior Minister, Hon Cletus Avoka said firm stance of the Mills administration against drug peddling and use in the country accounts for the “cocaine shortage in the country.”

“We have demonstrated the political will to fight the drug-war in the country. His Excellency the President has sent the right signals and we are all taking that up.” The Minister said the various security agencies are more “alert and proactive than ever before” and are ready to take on the drug lords head-on.


Hon Avoka was however quick to add that “it is possible the drug peddlers have gone underground” to allow them study the new government in order to come back in a big way. “But I can assure that they will never re-emerge.”

Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NACOB, ACP Robert Ayilonga: “In February last year 20 Ghanaians were arrested on one flight with drugs, and they all left through the Kotoka International Airport… So if one day 20 Ghanaians were arrested with cocaine in the UK and from January up to now …only nine Ghanaians have been arrested for the past four months, it tells a story.”

Meanwhile Security Analyst, Dr Kwesi Annin, says he agrees fully with views that the “attitude of the Mills administration” is helping to discourage drug peddlers from using Ghana as a transit point. He was however quick to say that serious challenges still linger in very critical areas in the fight against drug trafficking nationwide.

Source: Citi