Dissolving NACOB Board over cocaine haulage insufficient – Kwesi Aning

The dissolution of the governing Board of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) in the wake of the recent haulage of cocaine from the country is not enough.

Those NACOB officials who authored a statement making false claims that they played a role in the arrest of the courier of the drugs at Heathrow in London should rather be dealt with, security analyst Emmanuel Kwesi Aning has stated.

Dr. Aning was speaking to Samson Lardy Anyenini, host of Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday in reaction to the dissolution of the NACOB Board by President John Mahama.

The discussion over drug dealing involving the country has been put back into the front burner after a Ghanaian/Austrian, Nayele Ametefeh, was arrested in London with 12.5 kilos of cocaine.

In an apparent attempt to fend off suggestions that there was official complicity in the deal, the anti-drug agency issued a statement signed by its Deputy Executive Secretary, Richard Nii Lante Blankson, claiming amongst other things that Nayele, “was arrested on the 10th of November, 2014 through the collaborative effort of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and its British partners.”

The British High Commission in Ghana saying the authorities at Heathrow acted alone.

A government minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah also challenged the agency to provide proof of any collaboration with the British.

This threw a thick cloud of doubt over NACOB’s claims.

Probably acting on this, the presidency issued a statement dissolving the NACOB Board.

According to a release signed by the Chief of Staff Prosper Bani, further actions “will follow in due course”.

But the head of Research at The Kofi Annan Peace-Keeping Training Centre, Dr. Aning says that is not enough because the Board simply “sets the broader strategic framework within the work must be done.”

He said, “it is the day-to-day, hands-on operatives who should be reassessed; (those) who wrote that statement claiming a false partnership; they must be dealt with.”

He said the key persons at NACOB must be quickly dealt with because “what this false press statement has done is that our international collaborators in terms of issues relating to money laundering, the fight against narcotics, human trafficking, piracy, and terrorist financing just don’t trust us again.”

The nature of collaboration on transnational criminal activities, he said, requires trust and confidence between partners.

“Now when you have one of your critical partners deliberately lying, manipulating information and using the credibility of a partner institution to try to stifle investigation in a particular case, that destroys the partnership that we have built since 2006. So it is not the matter of the Board being sacked, it is about the total and dramatic, quick overhaul of NACOB as an institution,” he stated.

He insisted the false statement from NACOB will make it difficult for the agency to be trusted by other international partners.

It is particularly important for NACOB to be overhauled because, “two-and-a-half-years ago, we discovered a NACOB mafia at the airport, made up of 68 people who were facilitating the transport of drugs through the Kotoka (International) Airport; we didn’t what happened out of that,” he revealed.

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