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The MV Benjamin cocaine saga and national security
…The incredible tale of the abortive Navy, Air Force operation and the disappointment of International intelligence operatives
After weeks of local intelligence surveillance and interactions with key international intelligence operatives on the mystery surrounding the missing cocaine from the MV Benjamin Vessel, there have been amazing revelations about how the National security set-up failed the nation.
It has been revealed that at the time the vessel was on the high seas, the international intelligence community had an unparalleled dedication to help Ghana track down the drug-laden vessel, since it was clear to intelligence men that it was to dock and offload its content in Ghana.
Consequently, the relevant state security institution was given the necessary briefing about the vessel and its content and the National security Minister, Mr. Francis Poku, had the privilege of being briefed on a daily basis about the location of the vessel and its movements.
It has also been confirmed that other international security institutions, especially British Security Operatives, had made a commitment to help Ghana mount an effective operation to arrest the vessel if the Ghanaian security apparatus had given an indication that the nation lacked the military might to deal with the situation.
The Chronicle gathered that in the face of the devotions of the nation’s international security counterparts, there was an assurance from Ghana’s security establishment to the effect that our state institutions were well equipped to deal with the situation.
True to the commitment by the international community, the paper gathered that every vital information on the vessel were passed on to the relevant state security agents in Ghana and at all times, such pieces of relevant information were passed on to Mr. Poku to enable him put in place the appropriate security measures.
To further strengthen its commitment to help Ghana arrest the vessel, the British intelligence operatives monitored the movements of the vessel when it was still far away from Ghanaian territorial waters and got the British Air Force to take aerial photographs of the vessel when it was in Liberian territorial waters. The photographs were passed on to National Security for easy identification of the vessel.
Despite all these invaluable assistance from the international security organizations, Mr. Poku and his men only managed a poorly coordinated operation jointly carried out by the Ghana Air Force and the Navy.
The Chronicle gathered from its sources that even though the Ghana Air Force had given the indication that it lacked the capacity to land on sea or even fly very close to the surface of the sea for an effective operation, no efforts were made to solicit assistance from Ghana’s international security partners.
Then came the beginning of the operations by the Ghana Navy and the Air Force and the commencement of the incredible operational melodrama.
The airmen flew miles over the nation’s territorial waters and landed with scanty information on the vessel.
They however notified the Navy that they had been able to locate the vessel and gave out its location to the Navy command.
With the little information given by the Air Force, the Navy started its operations, which also turned out to be a flop.
They first returned to base to discredit the information given them by their Air Force colleagues, saying they could not locate the vessel at the position given them by the airmen.
As if by a grand design to give the owners of the drugs enough time to strategize, while all these military melodrama was ongoing, there were no efforts to seek assistance from the international community, and the National Security Minister was fully aware.
When the Navy re-launched a full operation for the vessel’s arrest, then came that actual drama.
At a point the platoon had to cease operation with the complaint that they had run out of food and material ration.
With this massive failure, a concerned international security officer wondered what would have happened to Ghana if the MV Benjamin had been carrying arms, ammunitions and assailants to attack the nation.
Meanwhile, The Chronicle’s intelligence sources say the international security collaborators who were desperate to help Ghana arrest the vessel have expressed total disappointment in the Ghanaian security set-up.
There are also unconfirmed reports of some Ghanaian international intelligence sources who were very much involved in the MV Benjamin intelligence network, and have threatened not to deal anymore with the Ghanaian security establishment on intelligence exchanges.
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