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05.04.2007 General News

Police arrest police over cocaine bust

By myjoyonline

Even before the administration of the Ghana Police Service could get over the embarrassment of having some of its personnel standing trial in connection with the infamous missing 77 parcels of cocaine from MV Benjamin, The Chronicle says that the name of the security institution has again been dragged into the mud by some of its officers on another drug-related matter.

Officers from the Police Headquarters last week arrested one Lance Corporal Russel Ekow, of the Monitors Unit, an action group created by the charismatic ACP Kofi Boakye, Director General of Police Operations, who is still on interdiction over issues related to the cocaine scandal that hit the country in the second half of last year, when he was in charge as Commander of the Greater Accra Region.

Some other personnel of the service, said to have also been involved in the same drug transaction, are yet to be arrested as no substantial evidence has yet been found against them.

According to sources close to the Greater Accra Police High com¬mand, the incident that led to the arrest of the officer and the hunt for the others took place a few weeks ago, when he and his colleagues who were on operational duties arrested a gentleman (name withheld) who had in his car, several parcels of the narcotic substance.

The paper's sources said upon the arrest of the cocaine bearing man, the officers negotiated for a huge sum of money in various dollar denominations from him and decided to leave him off the hook but that was not until they themselves had taken possession of a chunk of parcels containing the stuff.

It was further gathered that after taking the money, and a number of parcels of the drug, the suspected baron could not understand why the security personnel would want to benefit from him twice and subsequently reported the incident to some top police officers, whose names would soon be disclosed, for the arrest of the young cops involved.

Questions are being raised by some top ranked police officers about why the suspected dealer who lodged the complaint against the police officers was himself not arrested.

The parcels that were allegedly taken by the policemen are yet to be found but The Chronicle says it was reliably informed on Wednesday that the other policemen who were on the same operation tendered in one parcel of cocaine to the regional police command upon their return from the operation.

The group of policemen who returned with the parcel has not been arrested with the explanation that it returned with what was seized and did not know that their col¬league on the same operation had taken seven parcels out. But other police officers who spoke to the paper on the matter are questioning how the policemen returned to their base and tendered in a parcel without arresting the one from whom the parcel was taken.

Lance Corporal Ekow was picked up early last week after some investigations had been conducted. Sources say he was arrested when he engaged someone to sell the seven parcels that were taken during the operations.

The one who was engaged to sell the stuff was the first to be arrested. When he was questioned he is said to have named Ekow as the one who gave them to him to sell. A police source said Ekow himself had confessed to being the one who gave out the substance to be sold. The two are currently behind bars while the police say investigations are continuing.

The Paper said Chief Superintendent Adu Amankwah, Head of the Organized Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service, confirmed the arrest of the police officer and the possible arrest of some other officers and civilians in connection with the issue, but did not want to give the details about the case since according to him, investigations were still ongoing.

He explained that people who are involved in the drug business often had a strong network that requires very long but stringent investigations to be able to uncover and be able to effectively deal with.

Mr. Amankwah said his outfit was doing all it could to apprehend all those who were involved in the drug transaction in question and bring them to book.

Acting Director of Public Relations Directorate of the service, DSP Kwesi Ofori, also confirmed the arrest of the police officer and added that the service would not want to shield any officer who would be engaged in any unscrupulous act that has the potential of denting the image of the security institution.

He told the paper that so far, Ekow is the only policeman arrested in connection with the drug case but said investigations were still continuing on the matter to bring others who might have been involved in the same act to book.

Credit: The Chronicle