General News Mon, 17 May 2010

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Drug ring operating within GIA

The Head of Maintenance and Engineering of Ghana International Airline (GIA), Mr. Len Hobbs, has in a damaging document revealed that there was a drug ring operating within the airline, which enjoyed official protection of the management of the airline.

Mr. Hobbs, who is a respected aviation engineer, has said in an exclusive document in the possession of The Enquirer that there were staff of the airline who were working for a drug cartel and who enjoyed official protection from the GIA management.

According to Mr. Hobbs, in some instances when drugs were found on the plane, the management seized the drugs and kept mute of the deals.

“There were several incidents of illegal drugs being discovered by the company ground servicing personnel and subsequently seized by GIA management and never reported,” he said.

Continuing, he noted that on certain occasions, “GIA employees were caught selling baggage weight waivers for personal gain, illegal drugs and precious metal smuggling, went unreported.”

Mr. Hobbs, in a confidential document said the management of Ghana International Airline (GIA), “purposefully avoided security and contraband inspection for departing flights,” in spite of repeated efforts to tighten and expand inspections by Laddie Diaz, the Cuban-American man who served as the Head of Security for the Airline.

Mr. Hobbs observed that, instead of the management of the airline encouraging the Head of Security, “His efforts were dismissed and thwarted by GIA management “ He continued that the omission of responsibility continued until 2006, when the Head of Security resigned and left Ghana.

Mr. Hobbs noted also that, during the period when the drug cartel was using the airline for their business, “baggage inspections decreased, contrabands violations increased and went unreported”

The maintenance engineer who no longer works for the now nearly defunct airline said in the confidential documents that “GIA will never be respected and accepted as an international airline unless and until the security and inspection programs are fully implemented and enforced.”

Mr. Hobbs, who hails from the United States noted that the “entire GIA/USA approach to operating an airline was a ‘PONZI’ scheme which was never intended to be the business plan the company would hopefully and eventually evolve into” A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk. In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.

Mr. Hobbs went on to state that the Sentry Group who had lied about their ability to bring several aircrafts on board the transaction “never had the funding to launch an airline. They never put any money into the company and did not have access to funding. They left Ghana with more than $3M fraudulently diverted into their accounts.”

Mr. Hobbs was of the opinion that, the original management group of GIA was “ethically corrupt, managerially inept and operationally inexperienced. They took a potentially good business opportunity and chose to operate a corrupt enterprise as opposed to legitimate business. The result is obvious, the correction is optional”

Source: The Enquirer

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