Taxi Driver Busted For Cocaine - Expels 100 Pellets After Quarantine

Officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) have busted a Ghanaian taxi driver based in The Netherlands for allegedly trafficking in a narcotic drug.

The suspect, Oppong Kwaku Owusu, 52, was arrested at the Departure Hall of KIA while going through departure formalities to board a flight back to his base in The Netherlands.

He was pulled aside by NACOB officials on suspicion of having ingested some foreign substances, but he denied vehemently.

However, a search in his carry-on bag revealed three large parcels of a substance suspected to be a narcotic drug, for which reason he was detained for further questioning.

When he realised that time was running out for him, he broke down and confessed that he had swallowed some pellets of cocaine.

He was then placed under close observation by NACOB officials, during which he managed to expel all the 100 thumb-sized pellets of a powdery substance suspected to be a narcotic drug which he had swallowed.

The powdery substance were field-tested and it proved positive for cocaine, a narcotic drug.

According to the Head, Communications, Media Relations & Protocol of NACOB, Mr Francis Opoku Amoah, the suspect had two passports — a Ghanaian passport No. G2563315 issued in Accra and a Kingdom of The Netherlands passport No. NYDK14RP7 issued in The Netherlands.

Arrival in Ghana

He said the suspect was a Ghanaian taxi driver resident in The Netherlands who arrived in Ghana on February 7, 2020, to meet some people.

After staying in Ghana for some days, he decided to return to The Netherlands on February 18, 2020, but as he was going through departure formalities at the KIA, nacob operatives at the airport pulled him aside on suspicion that he had ingested some drugs.

The officials, not convinced by his responses, probed further and then decided to conduct a thorough search of his carry-on bag.

Mr Amoah said the carry-on bag was opened and searched in Owusu’s presence and three parcels of a powdery substance suspected to be cocaine were found concealed in a compartment of the bag.

Parcels found

During interrogation on the spot, he denied knowledge and ownership of the said parcels found in his carry-on bag but claimed ownership of the clothes in the bag.

Later, realising that the delay would cause his death, he confessed that he had ingested some of the substance found in the carry-on bag.

Suspect Owusu was born on July 31, 1968.

His Ghanaian passport was issued in Accra on August 22, 2019, and is expected to expire on August 21, 2029, while the Kingdom of The Netherlands passport was issued in The Netherlands on December 15, 2015, and is expected to expire on December 15, 2025.

Owusu was put on observation from February 18, 2020, and by 12 noon on February 19, 2020, he had expelled all the100 pellets of the drug he had swallowed.

Exhibits of drug

In his caution statement, suspect Owusu said while working as a taxi driver in The Netherlands, he was contracted by one Alhaji, also a Ghanaian resident in Amsterdam, to come to Ghana and carry some drugs to The Netherlands for a fee of €1,500.

He claimed that the said Alhaji paid for his ticket, but declined to give full details of all his contacts on arrival in Ghana.

Nacob says it will forward the three parcels found in the carry-on bag and the 100 expelled pellets of a whitish powdery substance to the Ghana Standards Authority for analytical examination and report.

Mr Amoah said the suspect was put before court on Thursday, February 20, 2020 and was remanded in prison custody to reappear on March 2, 2020.

He said the board would continue to collaborate and partner other stakeholders and its international partners to make Ghana and in particular the KIA unattractive to drug traffickers.