Minority calls for probe into Aflao cocaine saga

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Parliament
Spining


The Minority Caucus in Parliament has called on government to investigate the circumstances under which 100grams of cocaine impounded by the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) and given to the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) disappeared.

They said government must follow previous precedents such as the Georgina Wood Committee set by President Kufuor to investigate the disappearance of the 77 parcels of cocaine from the MV Benjamin, and the Kojo Armah Committee which probed the circumstances that led to the substitution of cocaine with flour at the police exhibits room at the CID headquarters in Accra.

Mr James Agalga, Ranking Member on Defence and Interior Committee made the call at a News conference in Parliament House over the disappearance of 100 grams of cocaine, seized at the Kpoglu Border in the Ketu South Municipality in the Volta Region on June 5, 2020.

The disappearance of the cocaine came to light when the Director General of the NACOC Mr Francis Torkornoo publicly lamented that the Customs Division of the GRA had failed to account for the substance his outfit seized and handed over to them plus an amount ofUS$200,000.

Mr Agalga also said the lack of synergy amongst the country’s security agencies at the borders was unacceptable saying that such a failure portends grave danger to the country’s national security as a whole.

He questioned how the impounded vehicle managed to cross the border into Ghana at a time the borders remained closed as a part of measures rolled out by the president to stem the spread of coronavirus disease.

He also questioned why the security agencies failed to collaborate in the quest to protect the country against the commission of cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, smuggling, child trafficking and even terrorism.

“How did the impounded vehicle manage to cross the border into Ghana at a time our borders remained closed as part of measures rolled out by the president to stem the spread of COVID-19?

“Are the security agencies namely NACOC, Customs, Immigration, Police and BNI not required to collaborate in the quest to protect our country against the commission of cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, smuggling, child trafficking and even terrorism? He queried.

Mr Agalga also explained that at the level of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) there existed the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) which coordinated the operations of all security and intelligence agencies with the view to promote efficiency, information sharing, and also to root out unnecessary turf wars.

Some weeks ago, the Director-General of NACOC publicly announced that his outfit had seized a vehicle that had substance suspected to be cocaine concealed in a false compartment under is fuel tank together with an amount of US$200,000.

He said an inventory was taken of all the packages seized whereupon, a decision was taken to send the vehicle and the packages seized to Accra for the commencement of investigations.

However, the Customs officers in and around the same duty post declined to allow officers of NACOC to proceed to Accra with the seized items plus the vehicle under the pretext that they needed to hear from their superiors in Accra.

Two days later, when a further inventory was taken of the packages recovered from the impounded vehicle, 100 grams of the cocaine could not be accounted for.

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