Envoy Denies Cocaine Story

Ghana’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Said Sinare, has denied reports that a Ghanaian who died during the stampede in Mecca was arrested with narcotic substances thought to be cocaine.

In a statement the ambassador said, ‘It has come to the attention of the Ghana Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with regards to news making the rounds in Ghana that one of the pilgrims who died during the stampede at Mina near Makkah, during the 2015 Hajj Pilgrimage died not as a result of the stampede, but rather arrested with narcotic drugs and was hanged to death.’

He stressed, ‘This information is false and has no basis whatsoever.’

The number of Ghanaians who died as a result of the stampede at Mina currently he said, ‘stands at seventeen (17), with three (3) pilgrims still missing. During the entire duration of the Hajj Pilgrimage, eight (8) Ghanaian Pilgrims died as a result of natural causes not related to the stampede at Mina.’

The Saudi Ministry of Health, he said, ‘undertook DNA profiling of all unidentified pilgrims to match with DNA samples of family members of the stampede victims,’ adding, ‘so far only one (1) Ghanaian family has sent DNA sample to possibly match with the body of a famous Ghanaian Hajj agent who also died during the stampede, Alhaji Abdul Salam Abubakar, popularly known as Great Anyas. No Ghanaian pilgrim was arrested with narcotics and was hanged to death.’

The Ghana Embassy has in view of the foregone appealed to the good people of Ghana to disregard such negative information and publication which as it put it, ‘only seeks to tarnish the good image of the victims mentioned.’

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