Four officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates, have been arrested by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) over the record £4.3 million cannabis (wee) haul at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Kamaldeen Awudu, Wolanyo Fiano, Ibrahim Badoo and Marvin Amon-Kotei, employed barely six weeks ago, are being questioned over how the record quantity of the narcotic substance passed through the Kotoka International Airport.
A fifth person, Ben Kusi Asante, has been working with NACOB for some years now.
The wee was uncovered in a plane from Ghana at the Heathrow Airport by UK officials last Thursday, making negative headlines in Ghana and the United Kingdom where Ghana’s notoriety as a drug hub was mentioned.
Last Monday’s wee haul has put Ghana on the spot as a major narcotic substance hub, and questions about security at the country’s entry and departure points have been raised.
With a street value of £4.3million, their biggest haul in three years, the UK Home Office in a statement indicated that the narcotic drugs weighed 1.5 metric tonnes and were found in three separate freight containers filled with fresh fruits and vegetables from Accra.
They were found in tape-wrapped compressed packages in boxes on a London-bound flight from Accra, according to British Border Force officials who added that after the seizure, they were moved under armed escort to a safe location, awaiting destruction.
Heathrow Director for Border Force, Marc Owen, in a subsequent press release, stated: “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.
“The fact that we have stopped it reaching the streets of the UK will make a substantial dent in the profits of the criminals responsible.
“The international drug trade is a vile business that Border Force officers play a key part in disrupting.”
UK Officers were on high alert to track down the intended destination of the massive cache of Cannabis. Officers interviewed generally were tight-lipped about the possible culprit(s).
Ghana, according to official sources, has gained notoriety as a transit point for illicit drugs, as many drugs were channel from South American and African countries for onward transmission to Europe and North America.
In a swift reaction, Parliament has moved to seek answers as to how the 1.5 metric tonnes of the cannabis or wee left the Ghanaian port without being busted.
Leading the query is Minority Spokesperson on Defence and Interior W. O. Boafo, who has called on the House to invite the Interior Minister, William Kwasi Aboah, to come and answer some questions.
“This is about drug trafficking and we need to interrogate the matter,” Mr. Boafo, who is also the MP for Akropong, stated.
According to Mr Boafo, that was creating a bad image for the country and there was the need to probe the nagging issue.
Meanwhile, the Minority Spokesperson on Defence and Interior has also urged Parliament to invite the Interior Minister to brief the House on the shooting incident that recently occurred at the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border that led to the latter closing her side of the border.
“There are conflicting reports from the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire border. We haven’t heard anything from the Minister for the Interior but this is of national importance. Mr. Speaker, I seek your guidance to advise the leadership of the House to invite the minister to come and brief Honourable members about the issue.”
Responding, First Deputy Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho said the issues raised by W. O. Boafo were legitimate.
Speaker Adjaho indicated that the MP should have prompted the House’s business committee early enough for the issues to be captured in its report for next week.
He however urged the Majority Leader and Chairman of Business Committee to consider the issue and see whether the minister could be invited to brief the House.
Source: Awudu Mahama, D-Guide
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