- Ghana’s Minister of Interior, Kwamena Bartels has admitted that the country’s entry points are gradually being used as transit points for drug trafficking.
Bartels, who said trafficking is of great concern to the government, was quick to add that the drug problem was a universal one and that Ghana has not been left out in the global struggle against the drug trafficking.
Bartels said the trend reflects a general upsurge of drug trafficking throughout the continent of Africa, in general, and West Africa, in particular.
He said drug traffickers and barons were increasingly using West African countries along the Gulf of Guinea for smuggling cocaine from Latin America into Europe, and at a lesser extent into North America, as evidenced by the record of seizures in the sub-region during the past years.
He described as alarming security officers’ involvement in the illicit trade when they were supposed to combat it.
“Drug barons all over the world try to infiltrate the ranks of the security services that are mandated to combat drug-trafficking,” he told the parliament.
He emphasized that the government, as a policy, has declared total war on drug trafficking, with the active collaboration of its development partners.
The government's measures to deal with the drugs crisis include offering personnel and agencies handling drugs cases with special financial package, which according to the Interior Minister, would dissuade police personnel from being compromised by drug barons.
“Typical examples are the two police officers who were handsomely rewarded for arresting two of their comrade police officers, who had accompanied some drug traffickers from the Western Region.”
Bartel also said the Ghana Police Service had embarked on a "house-cleaning exercise to rid the service off the few bad nuts suspected of engaging in drug trafficking. “Punitive departmental sanctions are taken to dismiss or remove from the service and prosecute any security personnel found guilty of these offences.”
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