Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee Hon. James Agalga has stated that the of lack of synergy amongst the country’s security agencies at our borders mirrors the failure of the leadership of President Addo as chairman of the National Security Council.
This statement he made due to the disappearance of 100.10 grams of Whitish substance suspected to be cocaine which was seized at the Kpoglu border in the Ketu South Municipality in the Volta Region on the 5th June, 2020.
According to the MP, the disappearance of the Whitish substance came to light when the Director General of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) Mr. Francis Torkornoo publicly lamented that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority failed to account for the substance after his outfit had seized and handed over the substance plus an amount of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD200, 000) to them.
Giving a detailed narration, Hon. Agalga stated that the details of Mr. Torkornoo’s account of events are that, his outfit impounded a vehicle which had substance suspected to be cocaine concealed in a false compartment under it fuel tank together with an amount of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars(USD200,000) on Friday, 5th June, 2020. An inventory was said to have been taken of all the packages seized and a decision was taken to send the vehicle and the packages to Accra for the commencement of investigation.
However, the Customs Officers in and around the same duty post declined to allow officers of NACOC to proceed to Accra with the seized items in the vehicle under the pretext that they needed to hear from their supervisors in Accra. It was disclosed that two days later, when a further inventory was taken it was discovered that the impounded vehicle and the 100.10 grams of the Whitish substance suspected to be cocaine could not be found.
The MP empathized that a number of questions ought to drawn from these allegations. “First, how did the impounded vehicle manage to cross the border into Ghana at a time when our borders remained closed as part of measures rolled out by the president to stem the spread of COVID -19, Secondly, are the security agencies namely; NACOC, Customs, Immigration, police and the BNI not required to collaborate in their quest to protect our country against the commission of cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, smuggling, child trafficking and even terrorism? Lastly, is it not the case that at the level of the National Security Council Secretariat(NSCS,there exist the Joint Intelligent Committee(JIC) which coordinate the operations of all security and intelligence agencies with the view to promote efficiency, information sharing and also to root out unnecessary turf wars?” These questions he asked.
The Builsa North Mp, noted that the Minority caucus are calling for the immediate set up of an independent committee of inquiry to establish amongst others, the circumstances under which the cocaine impounded by NACOC and entrusted in the custody of the Customs Divison of GRA dissappear. He further added that the expectation of the minority is that, the current government will follow the precedent of the Kufuor Georgina Wood Committee which was set up in 2006 to investigate the disappearance of 77 parcels of cocaine.
This he highlighted must be an independent body to thoroughly investigate the Aflao cocaine saga.
By Mary Quartey