Ghana commended for fight against drugs

By GNA
By GNA

2/28/2010 4:45:52 PM -

Stuttgart (Germany), Feb. 25, GNA - The US has commended the Ghana government for its determination to intercept arrest and prosecute drug couriers and traffickers irrespective of who is involved.

Miss Constance Ross, a Counter Narcotics Officer of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany, said the strong political will by Ghanaian officials relating to the fight against drugs showed that the country was preventing the consequence that is usually associated with "drug user communities".

Briefing Ghanaian journalists who are on a tour of AFRICOM Headquarters in Stuttgart, she said the existence of a vibrant judiciary and a strong political will in Ghana had contributed significantly to the fight against drug trafficking as compared to many African countries.

Miss Ross said governments in these countries lacked the political will to arrest their own officers and individuals who either carried drugs or became distributors.

Ms. Ross said execution adopted by other countries for dug couriers does not solve the increasing distribution of the drugs by barons.

She said the poor, unemployed and innocent victims are induced with financial rewards to become couriers and the main architects of the distribution channels escape arrest and prosecution.

"Imprisonment is more potent and serves as a deterrent for the drug barons and their agents," she said.

Ms. Ross suggested that African countries should step up their education on the effects of drugs on the social, economic and political life of each country and the consequences for being a distributor or courier.

She commended the Ghanaian media for reporting more on drug related cases in the courts and other sources.

"Most foreign countries are able to monitor and adopt better surveillance systems to combat the activities of the drug barons and their distribution channels".

Mr Garnard W. Burnside II, West Africa and Gulf of Guinea Region Counter Narcotics, Terrorism and Law Enforcement Officer, said training programmes had been organised by the Strategy, Plans and Programmes Directorate of the Africa Command for Ghanaian Police, Immigration officers and other institutions in Ghana.

He said drugs were a threat not only to Ghana but also the world as a whole and all efforts must be made to prevent its spread and use in any country.

From: George Naykene, GNA Special Correspondent, Stuttgart Germany, Courtesy of the US Government