Alarm Blows Over Ibrahim Cars At Airport
Firebrand Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has made mind-blowing claims to the effect that a private company, headed by a Lebanese at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), is being allowed to operate without any official security supervision.
The company is said to be allowing cargo to pass through its system with security checks.
Mr. Agyapong claimed the owner of the company, called GH-Swissport Ghana Ltd. – a cargo handling company, which operates at the airport – has an 'affiliation' with former President John Mahama and because of that the company does not allow the National Security to monitor its activities at the airport.
The MP said on Oman FM's 'Boiling Point' programme last Thursday evening that the issue reached a crescendo recently when ex-President Mahama's younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama, brought his cars to the Swissport Ghana Ltd facility for shipment abroad for servicing.
However, DAILY GUIDE cannot verify the claims, but other airport sources said Ibrahim started shipping his cars out for the supposed servicing from 2013 – 2014 when his brother was president.
According to the sources, the cars are always parked at the Airport Clinic before the shipment and that no checks are conducted on the vehicles.
It's unknown the countries they send the cars to for the servicing, but sources said Dubai, where the Mahamas have allegedly acquired properties, might not be ruled out.
The sources expressed fear that the vehicles might be conduit in shipping things outside the country.
Per the MP's mind-blowing narration, it was clear that there were serious security breaches at the cargo section of the airport; and he did not waste time in indicting the government for allowing the Lebanese owner to dictate to officials at the place.
According to the MP, “The private company has its machines installed virtually on the tarmac and runs his own private security.”
Mr. Kennedy Agyapong said matters came to a head on February 26, 2018 when Ibrahim Mahama's vehicles arrived from abroad and another batch was being prepared through the Swissport facility for shipment on the same day.
“On 26th February, Ibrahim Mahama brought three cars which were all 2010 Mercedes Benz models to the place after servicing abroad. The time Ibrahim's cars arrived, the same Ibrahim had brought another four cars, including a Bentley which had been loaded onto the pallets for shipment abroad for servicing,” the MP said, adding, “The moment three cars landed, four were on their way out.”
Mr. Agyapong said that the airport security decided not to allow the cars to pass without the proper checks and therefore, “from 8 to 11:30 pm, there was a stalemate between the Swissport guys and the airport officials. There is video evidence to that effect.”
The MP said, “Ibrahim then tried to introduce politics into the issue by claiming that it was because of his relation with the former president that the security agents were being hard on him.”
He said in the process, the security officials decided to quarantine the cars and ordered that nobody goes close to them.
The MP alleged, “However, CCTV camera captured Ibrahim's agent taking something out of the car,” claiming, “That guy should be arrested. What did he go to take from the car?”
According to Ken, “All the cars that came had wrong identifications, except one that was registered in the name of Engineers and Planners – a company belonging to Ibrahim Mahama.
“The car was later transferred in the name of one Yaw Asare, then Yaw Asare also transferred it into the name of another person and that person has once again transferred the car into the name of Engineers and Planners,” the MP alleged.
“When the airport security requested for the documents covering all the cars before giving them the green light to ship them out, Ibrahim and his people came back and took the cars away,” Ken posited.
He bemoaned, “It is not Ibrahim's issue that worries me; it is the way the government has allowed that Lebanese to have the audacity to hire his own private security and not allowing the National Security operatives to enter his facility at the airport.”
He pointed out that “there was a CCTV camera fixed at Swissport facility facing the direction of the Presidential Wing where the president uses on his travels, but they have turned the camera's direction.
“The Swissport guys do their own inspections without the involvement of any official security agent and allow the cars to be loaded unto planes to fly abroad for servicing. They don't allow National Security operatives into their facility.
“The danger involved is that if there is any contraband the security agents cannot detect it. I don't want to speculate but it doesn't make sense that you can ship out a 2010 Mercedes Benz for servicing abroad.”
DAILY GUIDE investigations revealed that in the ensuing struggle between the National Security and the Swissport private security, the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) officials were brought in to help screen the cars before they were allowed to be shipped out.
NACOB Dogs Tired
Strangely, the NACOB guys claimed the sniffer dogs were tired and did not bring them to do the job.
He said, “We (NPP government) are sleeping in a room but we have our legs outside. I keep saying we, the NPP, are in power but we are not ruling.”