Modern Ghana logo

FEATURED: Are Muslims Victims Or Promoters Of Terrorism?...

10.03.2007 General News

Drug Traffickers To Have It Tough

By myjoyonline

The Government said on Thursday that it was making every effort at ensuring that Ghana was not used as safe haven for drug traffickers and abusers.

Consequently, the government is pursuing a new legal framework that would ensure that no narcotics drug-related suspects were granted bail until their cases were determined by the courts.

Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Deputy Minister for the Interior, who disclosed this in Accra, said a committee had been set up by government to review all drug cases on which judgement had been given to ensure that confiscated drugs were destroyed.

Speaking at the launching of the 2006 International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) report in Accra, Mr. Agyeman Manu pointed out that measures adopted by government to curb the narcotics trade were paying off immensely leading to the arrest of more narcotic drug traffickers at the Kotoka International Airport with a reduction in the number of arrests of drug couriers using Ghana as their transit point.

In and address read for the sector minister, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, Mr. Agyeman Manu explained that Ghana had shown its commitment to deal with the narcotic menace by working in partnership with the INCB and the international community.

The Deputy Minister said government had launched Operation West Bridge, a partnership project between the governments of Ghana and Great Britain.

Operation Westbridge is a project under an agreement with the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime to check the contents of containers for drugs.

Dr. Joseph Bediako Asare, former Chief Psychiatrist and member of the INCB gave an overview of the global drug problem and said Ghana was making some headway to curb the drug trade compared to other countries around the world.

He mentioned Afghanistan as the largest producer of opium with 2.9 million people engaged in the drug business.

There is an estimated one million drug abusers in Afghanistan where 600,000 are aged under 16 years old.

Maj. Gen. Richardson Baiden, Executive Secretary of the reconstituted Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), cannabis which was being produced all over the country accounted for the highest number of abusers and trafficking cases in the country.

The United Development Programme (UNDP), Resident Representative, Mr. Danda Toure, said the drug trade needed a collective co-operation of all governments to control and expressed the UNDPs commitment to assist government's and countries to tackle the problem.