A Ghanaian drug baron who connived with three foreigners to import more than two tonnes (2,000 kilogrammes) of cocaine from Columbia for re-export to The Gambia in 2010 has been arrested.
The street value of the cocaine is estimated at $400 million.
The security agencies, acting in concert with officials of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), effected the arrest of the suspect, Robert Yaw Danquah, at his residence at the Teshie-Nungua Estates in Accra on Monday, February 6, 2012.
Danquah, 54, will be extradited to The Gambia to stand trial at the Banjul Magistrate Court.
His three accomplices, Robert Roselhamid Gazi, a Dutch, and George Sanchez and Juan Carlos Sanchez, both Columbians, are currently serving a 50-year jail term each in The Gambian capital of Banjul.
Danquah has been on the run since the drugs were intercepted by The Gambian police on June 12, 2010 and has also been on Interpol’s most wanted drug barons list for some time now after managing to escape arrest in The Gambia.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra Monday, the Deputy Executive Secretary of NACOB, Nii Lante Blankson, said the suspect was arrested after painstaking investigations by NACOB officials and the Ghana Police Service.
He said the suspect and his accomplices managed to export the drugs into The Gambia on a boat but the Gambian Drug Enforcement Agency was swift in intercepting the cocaine.
However, Danquah, who is alleged to be the leader of the group, managed to escape arrest in The Gambia to seek refuge in Ghana.
Danquah was jointly charged with his accomplices with conspiracy to traffic prohibited drugs, contrary to Section 51 (1) of the Drug Control Act of 2003 at the Banjul Magistrate Court in 2011.
According to the particulars of offence, in The Gambia on June 12, 2010, Danquah, Gazi, Sanchez and George Sanchez conspired to traffic more than two tonnes of cocaine and thereby committed an offence.
The prosecuting officer for the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) of The Gambia, ASP Abdoulie Ceesay, told the Banjul Magistrate Court, presided over by the Principal Magistrate, Sheriff Tabally, that prosecution was applying for a bench warrant for the arrest of Danquah, the first accused person in the case.
The Gambian prosecution pleaded that in the event of Danquah’s arrest, he should be handed over to NDEA to face trial in The Gambia.
The case was then adjourned till December 29, 2011 for mention.
Thereafter, the NDEA wrote to Interpol Ghana and NACOB to assist in the arrest of the suspect.
According to Nii Blankson, the suspect made his appearance at the Accra High Court on Friday, February 10, 2012, where he was remanded into custody.
He is currently being prepared for extradition to The Gambia to stand trial.
The Deputy Executive Director said NACOB, in collaboration with other security agencies and their international partners, would not relent in their fight against drug trafficking in the sub-region.
He said investigations so far conducted by NACOB officials indicated that Danquah had already served a four-year jail term in Ecuador after he had been convicted on a similar offence.
Source Graphic Ghana