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General News of Sunday, 30 April 2017


Cocaine saga: Indicted officials must face stiffer punishment – Kwesi Aning

Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning says the case involving the alleged disappearance of 500kg of cocaine worth about USD 30 million from the Tema Port has raised national security concerns, calling for serious investigations to be launched into the matter.

The Finder newspaper Friday reported that 10 bags of suspected cocaine, each weighing 50kg (500kg in all) hidden in a consignment of rice with an estimated street value of about $30million, have vanished from the Tema Port under mysterious circumstances.

The said container, according to reports was detained in December last year, however the suspected cocaine vanished before February 23, 2017 when all stakeholders conducted compulsory tests on the container.

It is learnt that K9 Dogs which are specially trained to detect cocaine confirmed traces of cocaine in the said container while UK’s Operation Westbridge also conducted sampling by the use of itemisers which also confirmed trace of cocaine.

However, authorities at the Port have given conflicting account in media interviews after the exposé.

The Sector Commander of Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), at the Tema Port Confidence Nyadzi insisted that his outfit is not aware of the alleged disappearance of 500kg of cocaine from the Tema Port.

“Infact it wasn’t reported to customs that any drug has been imported,” he told Kasapa 102.5 FM’s Akwasi Nsiah Friday.

But describing the matter as an intelligent failure, Dr. Kwesi Aning called for legal sanctions against persons found culpable, saying such cases hurt the reputation of the nation.

“There are standard operating procedures here as to how, multiple institutions must collaborate, share information and communicate. So it raises fundamental question as to why those standard operation procedures were not followed.

“This is not just case about USD 30 million, this is a case about national security…We’ve got to ensure that we use the law to get some answers from those who have failed the country.”