September 23, 2020
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Minority wants independent committee to probe missing cocaine

The Minority in Parliament has called for the setting up of an independent committee of enquiry to probe the alleged missing of 100.1 grams of suspected cocaine entrusted in the custody of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at Aflao in the Volta Region.

It stated that the establishment of such body would help to investigate the lack of collaboration among state securities and also unravel those behind the missing substances.

“The situation whereby two security agencies of state are not collaborating and are on each other’s throat is a very dangerous development which must be dealt with expeditiously; if nothing is done about the impasse among our security agencies, we can be sure that our national security, in the long run, will be compromised,” the Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, Mr James Agalga,  said at a news conference organised by the Minority last Tuesday.

Missing substance

On June 5, 2020, 100.1 grams of whitish substance suspected to be cocaine which was seized by the Customs and the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) at the Kpoglo border in the Ketu South Municipality in the Volta Region disappeared two days later.

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The Director of the NACOB, Mr Francis Torkonoo, publicly lamented that the Customs Division of the GRA failed to account for the substance after his outfit (NACOB) had handed over the substance and an amount of $200,000 to them.

However, a report, dated June 12, 2020, from the Aflao Sector Commander of Customs , Chief Revenue Officer Mr Majeed Amandi, said if anything, it was NACOB that had questions to answer over the missing drugs because of the attitude of their officers. 

Past probes

Reacting to the development, Mr Agalga recalled that in 2006, then President John Agyekum Kufuor set up the Georgina Wood Committee of Enquiry to investigate the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine from the MV Benjamin which entered Ghana’s territorial waters at the time.

“Similarly, in January 2008, the Minister for the Interior at the time, Mr Kwamena Bartels, set up the Kojo Armah Committee of Enquiry to investigate the circumstances that led to the substitution of the cocaine with flour at the police exhibits room at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Accra”, he said. 

Reference

Making reference to report by the NACOB Director, Mr Agalga said Mr Torkonoo disclosed that his outfit impounded a vehicle which had substances suspected to be cocaine concealed in a false compartment under its fuel tank together with an amount of $200,000.

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

Mr Agalga further stated that the director mentioned customs officers in and around the same duty post who declined to allow officers of NACOB to proceed to Accra with the seized items plus the vehicles under the pretext that they needed to hear from their superiors in Accra.

— #GhanaVotes2020

Source: Politics