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04.03.2009 General News

Take drug war serious - Yates


Mrs Mary Carlin Yates, a former United States Ambassador to Ghana, said the high incidence of cocaine trafficking through Ghana was shocking and must be taken seriously.

She therefore urged all relevant narcotic control agencies to work effectively to reverse the trend, adding that, if the situation was not properly checked its spread and effects could damage the entire nation and the citizenry.

Mrs. Yates, the Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities of the United States Africa Command (DCMA), was speaking to the media after her tour of the US Naval ship, USS Nashville, at the home port of the Western Naval Command in Sekondi and some fishing communities within the metropolis.

The ship is operating under the Africa Partnership Station, an international security cooperation initiative, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships, maritime safety and security in West and Central Africa.

Mrs. Yates noted that, in view of the danger in the drug trade, recent seizures of drugs in Ghana, which had almost tripled was relieving news and should be sustained to safeguard the interests of both the citizenry and Ghana's trading partners.

She said about eight percent of cocaine seized were on Ghana bound flights to Europe, stressing that drug cartels in Latin American countries would do all it could to diversify its operations to avoid detection.

The total value of illegal drugs trafficked through the West African sub-region has risen to more than $2 billion, higher than Ghana's annual gold export, the deputy to the Commander said.