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General News of Thursday, 25 August 2011

Source: Statesman

Drug plot against NPP exposed

As Sir John cautions party gurus over travelling luggage

The General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John, has issued a warning to the entire membership of the NPP who, at one point in time, intend travelling outside the country to be extremely careful with their luggage at the airport, as a plot to implicate several top NPP gurus with "substances” planted in their luggage has been hatched.

Sir John gave the warning in an exclusive interview with the New Statesman in the wake of series of arrests relating to the multi-million dollar cocaine trade made at the Kotoka International Airport and other airports in other countries around the world over the past few months.

According to the NPP scribe, information the party has picked up indicates that there is a grand design in place by “some determined people” to plant substances in the luggage of NPP gurus after their luggage has been checked by customs officials at the airport.

Sir John added that after the substances have been planted in the luggage of these top NPP officials, after inspection by customs officials, their subsequent arrest will be effected outside the shores of this country when they reach their respective destinations.

This scheme, according to Sir John, is already in place and the arrest of an NPP member will serve as the ultimate proof “some people have been seeking to justify claims made in the run up to the 2008 elections that members of the NPP are involved in the drug trade.”

According to Sir John, in the wake of several arrests of persons dealing in illicit drugs, the latest being the arrest of 15 operatives from the Narcotics Control Board, National Security and Bureau of National Investigations operatives, none of the people arrested are members of the NPP.

As such the plot is to robe in members of the NPP to even the score. He therefore admonished the entire membership of the NPP not to take any chances with regards to this and offered solutions to this.

“If NPP members can travel with just a hand luggage, I suggest they do so. If this is not possible, then do what I always do. After my luggage has been checked by customs officials, I completely mummify my luggage with plastic film, in the presence of the custom officials, leaving small holes for the grip handles and for the drag wheels”, Sir John added.

He continued: “This is one sure way of ensuring you are in the know as to the fact that your luggage has been checked and no one can place any substance in your bag. If your bag is tampered with, you will know.”

Information available to the New Statesman is that the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on his last trip outside the country employed the use of the technique described by Sir John.

Prior to emplaning to South Africa, where Nana Addo delivered a paper on “Outlawing Criminal Libel Law in Ghana”, his luggage was completely wrapped with plastic film after customs officials had checked his luggage.

Drug trafficking in the past years has become a political issue in the country as it is used by some politicians to run down their opponents even when there is no basis for such attacks.

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