Feature Article of Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Columnist: Beeko, William Nana Yaw
From: William Nana Yaw Beeko, Network Organizer, [email protected]
The Ghana Anti-Money Laundering Journalists Network, deems it necessary to wade into the growing concerns being expressed about the transit of drugs from Ghana to the UK in recent times.
The organization finds news of Cannabis seizure at the Heathrow Airport in the UK last week, a very worrying trend as Ghana gears up for national elections.
Incontrovertibly, this sort of development happens to be the 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 and had a street value of £4.3 million, were found in three separate freight containers filled with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Border Force officials found the cannabis in tape-wrapped compressed packages within boxes on the flight from Accra on Monday.
After being seized the drug was taken under armed escort to a secure location, where it will be stored until it is incinerated.
Marc Owen, Heathrow Director for Border Force, said: “This was smuggling on an industrial scale. It is a significant quantity of cannabis, our biggest seizure of this kind in several years at Heathrow.
It is against this background, the Ghana Anti-Money Laundering Journalists Network is simply calling for the outright resignation of the Executive Secretary of Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board [NACOB], Yaw Akrasi Sarpong.
This is because it was some of his men who teamed up with the drug lords to make the transit of the goods successful.
The murky question we would like to pose to the NACOB Boss is that how many of these cases is he aware of and how many of them is he not privy to?
Interestingly, the NACOB Boss has been ranting and running after drug dealers who do not even exist on radio but right under his nose, his men are reaping supernormal proceeds of drug monies.
Ghana has been downgraded by the international Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) in the crusade against Money Laundering (ML) and Financing Terrorism (FT) activities, in February 2012 and these cases would further deepen our poor standards in fighting money laundering.
Ghana is seeking to redeem its image through the implementation of a robust Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Counter Financing Terrorism (CFT) compliance measures but here we are again with these drug cases popping up.
We have heard heads of institutions talking tough on the drug menace but at the end of the day the end result is absolute futility. As draw closer to elections, the drug cases are expected to rise since politicians would definitely be looking for alternative easy monies to fund their campaign activities.
In conclusion, the NACOB Boss has failed woefully and must be made to step down because his continued stay in office would open the flood gate for drug peddlers to have a field day to carry out their operations.