The Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, Akrasi Sarpong says there are no drug barons in Ghana.
Rather, the only drug dealers in Ghana are those at the tail end of the network helped by politicians with the complicity of some security officials to make enough money out of the trade and certainly not the barons who head the networks.
Mr. Sarpong was speaking in an exclusive interview with Joy News following a warning by the United Nations about growing sophistication of the drugs trade in West Africa, told Joy News Sammy Darko “We’ve always been talking about barons in Ghana, there is no baron in Ghana. Let’s not give anybody no credit, there is no baron in Ghana.”
He insisted that the police did a good work in 2005/2006 when a Venezuelan baron was ‘beginning to ground’ and ‘people made a mess’ of the opportunity to nab him.
“When I say made a mess that is how sophisticated they were. Because there were senior police officers, I don’t want to mention names, whose character without a doubt, clearly showed that they were in bed with those guys and nothing was done to them and that is a shame. Nothing was done to them. Some of the things that happened were right from the top of the police and nothing was done to them and that is a shame because it sends the wrong signals.”
According to the NACOB boss, while not imputing anything, it is logical to conclude that those guys at the time had “sophisticated” and “such subtle links with some very highly placed officials in the police.”
Akrasi Sarpong maintained that those who really control the business here are from Latin America where the barons are.
He said if players in the drug business can use submarines into the US and avoid detection, then Ghana needs to set up properly, the police marine corps and train personnel well.
Akrasi Sarpong said while drugs remain a huge threat, drug barons from all indications, are finding Ghana an unattractive route to into West Africa as a result particularly of commitments and partnerships with more powerful nations to fight the menace, it is not necessarily because Ghana, with weak borders, is more committed to fighting the menace.
Dr. Kwesi Anning, security analyst with the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre, was glad to hear the NACOB boss speak so openly about the situation on the ground.
He however expressed hope that the focus on the absence of barons on the local front will not shift attention away from the actual policing the situation requires.
In a related development, the Narcotics Control Board with the help of the security services has destroyed large quantities of narcotic substances.
In all, three tones of cannabis, seven kilos of cocaine and about two kilos of heroin were burnt at the Shai Hills.