Operation Westbridge is suffering a trust deficit- Aning

The anti-drug trafficking programme initiated by the British government and their Ghanaian counterpart has suffered a breach of trust, security expert Dr. Kwesi Aning has said.

While applauding the achievements chalked by the operation since its establishment in 2006, Dr Aning said over time the trust which was a key part of the operation is beginning to wane.

He was speaking to Myjoyonline.com following reports by some British media questioning the effectiveness of the operation.

“The first challenge relates to trust. How much can the two organisations share sensitive intelligence information about our operations?

“…Whilst we have operation Westbridge operatives here in Accra, I am not too sure if their Ghanaian counterparts have their operatives in the UK.

“International collaboration and partnership are also based on trust, respect and transparency and I think over time some of these things are challenged,” he said.

Checks by Joy News’ Fred Smith indicated that Operation Westbridge has led to over £100million worth of cocaine bust over the seven year period the operation has been in existence.

However, the British press have continued to indict some members of the Narcotics Control Board accusing them of compromising their positions.

They make reference to a wiki leaks report which suggested that some security officials were aiding and abetting the drugs trade in the country.

But Dr Kwesi Aning said such reports by the British media are also sometimes laced with a tinge of sensationalism.

“Has any official from NACOB been arrested based on this compromise or they are just hearsays? One of the things that we need to know is the excessive sensationalism of the British press. These are some of the things that contribute to the lack of trust and the levels of bindingness that you would expect from such international collaboration,” he said

He was however critical of recent conduct by NACOB in respect of the arrest of a drug suspect, Nayele Ametefe. NACOB issued a statement claiming the arrest was as a result of a collaboration between its outfit and their partners in the UK.

But the UK government issued a statement stating emphatically that NACOB played no role in the arrest of the suspect.

Dr Aning said NACOB’s conduct undermined not just the operation Westbridge but also embarrassed the whole country.

He called for a better conversation between both parties to discuss pertinent issues affecting them.  

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