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Letter from the President: The elusive parcels

Cocaine Pellets

Mon, 10 Dec 2007 Source: The Daily Dispatch

Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents so Tagor is spending the next 15 years in jail. I wish him well. After enriching himself by selling that dangerous white stuff to many of our kids and earning our country such a bad name, that’s all he gets. Fifteen years. I really wish him well. Those of you close to him should let him know that I think he’s one heck of a lucky guy. He (and Abass, of course) should be thanking their stars that we have such inefficient and incompetent investigative agencies like the police and the Narcotics Control Board, who couldn’t come up with any compelling evidence that would have helped to have them jailed for longer than 15 years. The only evidence that was used to convict them was that recording of their conversation with the former police director of operations, Kofi Boakye. So they should thank their stars and not despair. Fifteen years will pass by so fast and before long, they would be back on the streets cruising in their Hummers with their ‘apuskeleke’ chicks by their sides. And I know for sure that whiles in jail they would also be living like kings. All they need to do is to slip a wad into a warden’s pocket and they will be living a perfectly normal life in prison.

Now that Tagor and Abass are in jail, I know some of you might be tempted to wave your victory handkerchiefs and proclaim that “we go ‘em”. But did we, really? I don’t think so.

Tagor and Abass were arrested only after the recorded proceedings at a meeting with a very senior police officer were made public. The police officer claims that he was merely doing his job and that his revealing (and dare I say, self-implicating) conversation with the Tagor and Abass were all in a day’s work for him. Never mind that the meeting was held in the officer’s house in an atmosphere of admirable conviviality, the sort that would very easily bring peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The sole agenda for that meeting was the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine from a seized vessel at the Tema Port. Whiles the police officer claims to have been doing his job, Abass claims that he was an undercover operative engaged by the Narcotics Control Board to ‘pin’ the police officer, who – according to Abass –had been a suspected drug dealer all along.

The story so far, has been an intriguing tale of illicit dealings, corruption, incompetence and secret machinations with cock and bull twists and turns. I must say that I have particularly enjoyed it. But like every drama brewed in Sikaman or Naija, there must be a sequel – at least. The sentencing of Tagor and Abass, only marks the end of part one. I look forward to part 2… then part 3 etc. I wouldn’t mind at all.

In part two of this real life drama, I want us to focus on the issue that brought Tagor and Abass to their current fate: the missing parcels! Where in heaven’s name are they? When the parcels disappeared, a committee was formed, chaired by Georgina, the current CJ – at the time she was just a judge of the supreme court – to investigate the whole matter and help us find them.

Georgina’s committee huffed and puffed all over the place but they couldn’t find the parcels. The only consolation we got from them was a series of recommendations (stuff we already know) about how to combat the drugs menace. I feel I should set up another committee to investigate why Georgina’s committee failed to find the 77 parcels and if they are also unable to deliver, we’d form another committee to look into their operations.

The fact remains that the 77 parcels are still out there. My fear is that a large quantity of it must have been smuggled out of the country already. Some of it might already be on the streets right here in this country, being consumed by hopeless junkies.

Countrymen and women, this is a very serious matter. And our inability to at least tell who has the parcels does not do our nation any good. It’s especially telling on our reputation abroad. We have become an international laughing stock… not for the first time, of course. What is wrong with us? We cannot stop people from smuggling mobile phone handsets into our country (“they are too small”, we say and so we have to tax the hapless man on the streets) and we can also not stop people from stealing parcels of cocaine from a guarded vessel (the excuse is: “they are too big”). People say the parcels are hidden in the houses of some ‘big men’ and so our ‘big men’ are being harassed when they travel. Look at how Pan Dakaah was treated at Nairobi Airport. He was holding a diplomatic passport alright but a nitwit of a little security guard decided to search him.

That’s the sort of treatment you get when you come from a country where 77 parcels of cocaine just ‘whittle’ away. And Pan Dakaah’s refusal to allow himself to be searched didn’t help matters at all. “If he is that clean, why didn’t he allow himself to be searched?” I heard a diplomatic underling ask. It’s a fair question, isn’t it? Add the fact that an MP from your country is facing drug trafficking charges in the US… and the fact that one of your top musicians was arrested with drugs at a London airport… and the fact that one of your very senior police officers confers frequently in his house with suspected drug dealers (over bottles of Black Label and ‘Alomo’) and you’d realise that Pan Dakaah actually had it coming. I won’t be surprised if on one of my numerous travels abroad, I am subjected to a cavity search because someone suspects that I am carrying some drugs. And if they do it to me, they will do it to anyone of you.

This is all very depressing. I want those parcels found. The sooner the better. Otherwise, we can talk all we want about our determination to “curb the drugs menace” and very few people will take us serious. In case we don’t find the parcels (and my suspicion is that we won’t) I would, at least, like to see Kofi Boakye stand trial. If Tagor and Abass have been convicted on the basis of that conversation, Kofi should not be spared. After all, what is bad for the gander should be bad for the goose.

Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents so Tagor is spending the next 15 years in jail. I wish him well. After enriching himself by selling that dangerous white stuff to many of our kids and earning our country such a bad name, that’s all he gets. Fifteen years. I really wish him well. Those of you close to him should let him know that I think he’s one heck of a lucky guy. He (and Abass, of course) should be thanking their stars that we have such inefficient and incompetent investigative agencies like the police and the Narcotics Control Board, who couldn’t come up with any compelling evidence that would have helped to have them jailed for longer than 15 years. The only evidence that was used to convict them was that recording of their conversation with the former police director of operations, Kofi Boakye. So they should thank their stars and not despair. Fifteen years will pass by so fast and before long, they would be back on the streets cruising in their Hummers with their ‘apuskeleke’ chicks by their sides. And I know for sure that whiles in jail they would also be living like kings. All they need to do is to slip a wad into a warden’s pocket and they will be living a perfectly normal life in prison.

Now that Tagor and Abass are in jail, I know some of you might be tempted to wave your victory handkerchiefs and proclaim that “we go ‘em”. But did we, really? I don’t think so.

Tagor and Abass were arrested only after the recorded proceedings at a meeting with a very senior police officer were made public. The police officer claims that he was merely doing his job and that his revealing (and dare I say, self-implicating) conversation with the Tagor and Abass were all in a day’s work for him. Never mind that the meeting was held in the officer’s house in an atmosphere of admirable conviviality, the sort that would very easily bring peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The sole agenda for that meeting was the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine from a seized vessel at the Tema Port. Whiles the police officer claims to have been doing his job, Abass claims that he was an undercover operative engaged by the Narcotics Control Board to ‘pin’ the police officer, who – according to Abass –had been a suspected drug dealer all along.

The story so far, has been an intriguing tale of illicit dealings, corruption, incompetence and secret machinations with cock and bull twists and turns. I must say that I have particularly enjoyed it. But like every drama brewed in Sikaman or Naija, there must be a sequel – at least. The sentencing of Tagor and Abass, only marks the end of part one. I look forward to part 2… then part 3 etc. I wouldn’t mind at all.

In part two of this real life drama, I want us to focus on the issue that brought Tagor and Abass to their current fate: the missing parcels! Where in heaven’s name are they? When the parcels disappeared, a committee was formed, chaired by Georgina, the current CJ – at the time she was just a judge of the supreme court – to investigate the whole matter and help us find them.

Georgina’s committee huffed and puffed all over the place but they couldn’t find the parcels. The only consolation we got from them was a series of recommendations (stuff we already know) about how to combat the drugs menace. I feel I should set up another committee to investigate why Georgina’s committee failed to find the 77 parcels and if they are also unable to deliver, we’d form another committee to look into their operations.

The fact remains that the 77 parcels are still out there. My fear is that a large quantity of it must have been smuggled out of the country already. Some of it might already be on the streets right here in this country, being consumed by hopeless junkies.

Countrymen and women, this is a very serious matter. And our inability to at least tell who has the parcels does not do our nation any good. It’s especially telling on our reputation abroad. We have become an international laughing stock… not for the first time, of course. What is wrong with us? We cannot stop people from smuggling mobile phone handsets into our country (“they are too small”, we say and so we have to tax the hapless man on the streets) and we can also not stop people from stealing parcels of cocaine from a guarded vessel (the excuse is: “they are too big”). People say the parcels are hidden in the houses of some ‘big men’ and so our ‘big men’ are being harassed when they travel. Look at how Pan Dakaah was treated at Nairobi Airport. He was holding a diplomatic passport alright but a nitwit of a little security guard decided to search him.

That’s the sort of treatment you get when you come from a country where 77 parcels of cocaine just ‘whittle’ away. And Pan Dakaah’s refusal to allow himself to be searched didn’t help matters at all. “If he is that clean, why didn’t he allow himself to be searched?” I heard a diplomatic underling ask. It’s a fair question, isn’t it? Add the fact that an MP from your country is facing drug trafficking charges in the US… and the fact that one of your top musicians was arrested with drugs at a London airport… and the fact that one of your very senior police officers confers frequently in his house with suspected drug dealers (over bottles of Black Label and ‘Alomo’) and you’d realise that Pan Dakaah actually had it coming. I won’t be surprised if on one of my numerous travels abroad, I am subjected to a cavity search because someone suspects that I am carrying some drugs. And if they do it to me, they will do it to anyone of you.

This is all very depressing. I want those parcels found. The sooner the better. Otherwise, we can talk all we want about our determination to “curb the drugs menace” and very few people will take us serious. In case we don’t find the parcels (and my suspicion is that we won’t) I would, at least, like to see Kofi Boakye stand trial. If Tagor and Abass have been convicted on the basis of that conversation, Kofi should not be spared. After all, what is bad for the gander should be bad for the goose.

Totally Drug free,
J. A. Fukuor
(fukuor@gmail.com)

Columnist: The Daily Dispatch