3 Arrested Over Ruby Cocaine…. Used VVIP

It has emerged that the Ghanaian woman arrested with 12.5 kilos of cocaine at Heathrow Airport, London, on November 10, used the VVIP lounge of the Kotoka International Airport in Accra for her abortive trip.

Meanwhile, three of her suspected collaborators have been nabbed.

The VVIP section is reserved for high profile individuals, including heads of state, ministers of state as well as other top diplomats.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the replay of the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) recordings indicated that Nayele Ametefeh, aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, used the VVIP wing for her trip to London and that some three people who allegedly aided her were also unearthed.

Latest Arrests
Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, said on Radio Gold’s news analysis programme— Alhaji & Alhaji —last Saturday that three people had been arrested in connection with the arrest of Nayele Ametefeh, but refused to mention their names.

However, DAILY GUIDE sources revealed that the three arrested included an officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who is attached to the airport.

The three were all tracked down after security officials reviewed the CCTV images at the airport.

This paper also learnt that an Alhaji whose name came up strongly during the initial interrogation of the three, is being hotly pursued. ‘Another person whose name was mentioned by all the three individuals who have been arrested is yet to be arrested. That person is being pursued vigorously by the security agencies,’ Dr Omane-Boamah said.

More Names Pop Up
News emerging has it that Nayele Ametefeh also uses many names on different travelling documents.

Apart from Nayele Ametefeh, she is reported to be using Angel, Ruby Adu-Gyamfi and now Irene Tawiah, among others.

Diplomatic Passport
On the fateful day at Heathrow, she was said to be carrying passports issued by the governments of Austria and Ghana with the name Nayele Ametefeh in them.

The government, however, continues to dispute the Diplomatic Passport bit, even though an Austrian newspaper, Kronen Zeitung, published that Ruby brandished a diplomatic passport when suspicious security details at the Heathrow Airport stopped her.

She was said to be carrying three passports.
Wanted List
The busted drug courier, Nayele Ametefeh, according to report, has been on the wanted list of Ghana’s Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) since 2009.

A former NACOB Commander at Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport, Anthony Smith—who said he is very familiar with the lady involved—told  Joy FM’s  ’Newsfile’ programme Saturday that Ruby has several aliases which may have aided her to slip through the security net all this while until her arrest on November 10 by UK security authorities at Heathrow.

According to the former NACOB Commander, who is now domiciled outside Ghana,  Ruby also used ‘Ruby Appiah’ to traffic drugs years ago.

He said the Ghanaian lady, normally uses unsuspecting people at the airport, such as cleaners, to help her smuggle the drugs on board the plane without raising any suspicion from security officials.

Smith said Ruby used that strategy to outwit security at the airport in 2009 when she attempted smuggling about 5kgs of cocaine with the help of a cleaner called Daniel Kabutey, who he said hid the narcotic substance in a trashcan, but was caught and jailed.

The cleaner, Smith underscored, was driving a state-of-the-art BMW car before his arrest, with Ruby eluding arrest at the time.

NACOB Governing Board
The arrest of Ruby appears to be shaking the foundation of the narcotics law enforcement body – NACOB – as President John Mahama at the weekend dissolved the Governing Board with immediate effect.

The terse statement signed by Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, did not give reasons for the dissolution of the board but said ‘further action will follow in due course.’

At all material times, the Governing Board was chaired by Naval Captain Baffuor Assasie-Gyimah (Rtd), with personalities like Rev Dr Fred Deegbe, the immediate past General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana and others as members.

When news broke in the local media about the arrest of Ruby, NACOB quickly issued a press release claiming it ‘collaborated’ with their British counterparts in the operation—a statement that later turned out to be false, as the British authorities, through the High Commission in Ghana, flatly denied any collaboration.

Even though NACOB had given ‘details’ about Ruby’s travel documents, the statement failed to   explain where the suspect, whose cocaine haul was valued at over $5 million, boarded the plane.

They were also silent on which section of the airport Ruby used to board the BA78 flight on November 9.

NACOB Shot Down
The claim of collaboration was shot down immediately by the British High Commission in Accra and even the Minister of Communications.

The High Commission issued a release dismissing the statement by NACOB by saying that there was no UK security-NACOB collaboration as claimed.

According to the High Commission, even though the UK authorities had been working closely with NACOB since 2006, they ‘had no prior knowledge of the intentions of Ms Nayele Ametefeh before flying from Accra to London on 9/10 November.’

It continued, ‘UK authorities work closely with NACOB to ensure that wherever possible, any potential drug trafficker to the UK from Ghana is arrested here in Ghana and not permitted to board a flight in order to traffic drugs

Omane-Boamah, the Communications Minister, also said, ‘I discounted NACOB’s claims that they collaborated with the British intelligence with respect to this particular arrest. However, to give them the benefit of the doubt, I also indicated that if they release evidence to contradict that discount that I had put out there, I was ready to change my position.’

Akrasi Must Go!
In the midst of the confusion over the $5 million cocaine haul, pressure is also mounting on the Executive Secretary of NACOB, Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, to resign following what many believe was the failure of the state institution to stem the narcotic trade in the country.

For instance, financial analyst and anti-corruption campaigner, Sydney Casely-Hayford, said on Citi FM that the seeming silence of Mr Akrasi Sarpong over the cocaine saga was ‘suspicious.’

‘Akrasi Sarpong is a very outspoken, hard-talking, open person. I don’t know of any incident that has actually even infringed on the corners of NACOB that Akrasi Sarpong has not said a word about. So there is something amiss in all of these,’ he contended.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that at the time Ruby was arrested in London, Mr Akrasi Sarpong, who publicly advocated the legalisation of marijuana—a narcotic drug—was said to be out of the country.

The controversial NACOB press statement was signed by his deputy, Richard Nii Lante Blankson.

By William Yaw Owusu

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