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Investigate missing cocaine saga -Minority.

The Minority Caucus in Parliament is calling for the setting up of an independent committee to investigate the Aflao cocaine saga. The group wants the committee to establish, amongst others, the circumstances under which the cocaine impounded by the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) and entrusted into the custody of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) disappeared.

The cocaine and money found in the vehicle

The call was made by Mr James Agalga, Ranking Member, Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament and MP for Builsa North, on behalf of the Minority yesterday in Parliament. It would be recalled that The Chronicle reported on the incident of the Aflao cocaine saga some days ago.

The details of the story were that the office of NACOC impounded a vehicle which had substances suspected to be cocaine concealed in a false compartment under its fuel tank, together with an amount of US$200,000 on last week Friday, at 5am. An inventory was taken of all the packages seized, but when another inventory was taken a day later, 100.10 grams of the package recovered from the impounded vehicle could not be accounted for.

The heads of both NACOB and GRA have been engaging in a media blame game as to the whereabouts of the missing cocaine, which was duly reported by this paper also.

The Minority is, therefore, raising a lot of questions about the happenings.

The group, first of all, indicated that it does not understand how the impounded vehicle managed to cross the border into Ghana at a time our borders remain closed as part of measures rolled out by the President to stem the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Minority also wants to know the level of collaboration between the various security agencies - NACOC, Customs, Immigration, police and the BNI - in their quest to protect the country against the commission of cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, smuggling, child trafficking and even terrorism.

'The lack of synergy amongst the country's security agencies at the borders portends a grave danger to the national security as a whole, and something should be done about it,' they said. The Minority, therefore, called on the government to follow precedents established by previous governments by setting up committees to look into similar issues and proffer solutions.

They cited the 2006 former President Kufuor's Georgina Wood Committee of Inquiry, which investigated the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine from MV Benjamin which entered Ghana's territorial waters at the time. Similarly, in January, 2008, Kwamena Bartels, Minister for the Interior at the time, set up the Kojo Armah Committee of inquiry to investigate the circumstances that led to the substitution of cocaine with flour at the police exhibit room at the CID Headquarters in Accra.

The Minority said it was their expectation that the current government would follow precedents by allowing an independent body to thoroughly investigate the issue.

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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Geographic Code:6GHAN
Date:Jun 25, 2020
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