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01.08.2005 General News

Govt to intensify fight against drug trafficking

GNA

Accra, Aug 1, GNA - Government would intensify the fight against drug trafficking to ensure that couriers and their suppliers were brought to justice, Minister of the Interior, Papa Owusu Ankoma said on Monday.

Speaking at the signing of two separate agreements on narcotics and human trafficking between the US and Ghana, the Minister said the narcotic trade posed a serious threat to the country's development and must be nipped in the bud.

"We will not relent in our fight to get at the suppliers and barons, he said. "

"We are counting on the public and the media to make available information that can lead the enforcement agencies to the dealers," he added.

Papa Owusu Ankoma and Mrs Mary Carlin Yates, the US Ambassador signed the agreements on behalf of their respective countries. The first agreement will provide 250,000 dollars to train Ghanaian police and members of the judiciary in investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes.

In the second agreement the Narcotic Control Board will received 200,000 dollars in additional resources for training in advanced narcotics investigations.

Also to benefit from this training are the NCB's sister law enforcement agencies to enable them to act on behalf of the agency when they encounter drug-related activity in the course of their duties. The Minister said with the passage of the law on trafficking, the police and the judiciary now had the legal regime to investigate and prosecute human trafficking offenders.

Mrs Yates lauded the anti-trafficking legislation in persons, saying it was a significant stride in protecting women and children's rights.

"I congratulate the government on this important legislation that is sure to strengthen Ghana's international recognition for respecting human rights," she said.

Mrs Yates expressed the hope that the agreements would go a long way to further strengthen US partnership with Ghana in combating trafficking of narcotics and human beings.

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