21.11.2005 General News

$6m Heroin MP Nicked -Chronicle

By Chronicle
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NDC ogles bye-election over quiet, wealthy, lawmaker The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is already nursing hopes of regaining one of the seats it lost to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), following reports of the arrest of the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, in New York last week. The NDC's hopes derive from the fact that in the event of a conviction of the arrested MP, the seat would be declared vacant and therefore, up for grabs. Reports confirmed by our Canada-based columnist, and a broadcast on Joy FM also relying on the world wide web, indicate that the MP for Nkoranza North, Honourable Amoateng, is one of the two Ghanaians busted in New York on Saturday November 12 2005, for possessing hard drugs, namely heroin, with a street value of $6 million. The MP was said to have been arrested along with one Nii Okai Adjei at an island storage facility, while they were dismantling the drugs, hidden in crates of pottery.
The two had flown to New York from Accra on Thursday November 10, 2005, a day after the arrival of the shipment of heroin in seven crates of pottery from London. Customs agents examined the crates at Newark Liberty International Airport and discovered the heroin, which officials said is one of the largest shipments in recent memory, with a street value of more than $6million.
Officials of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have confirmed to JOY Fm, a local radio station, that one of the two Ghanaians arrested last week in New York was a politician.
The two were arraigned before court on Monday November 14, on charges of conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin, and were held without bail.
The NPP MP, took a leave of absence from Parliament on Monday November 7, and has not been seen since. He is believed to have traveled to the United States and has missed the past two weeks of Parliamentary sessions, including the budget presentation of November 10.
According to a leading Member of Parliament, Mr. Amoateng did not attend any Parliamentary session last week.
The Chronicle has it that Mr. Amoateng, who is also a chief in a suburb of Nkoranza, has since his assumption of office as MP, not made any contribution on the floor.
His colleagues told The Chronicle that the Member was in the House on the reconvening of Parliament, but before the budget was read, he slipped out and has not been heard from till now.
A member of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Amoateng, popularly known as Nana Amoateng, was regarded as a philanthropist in his constituency.
During the 2004 elections, he donated millions of cedis in support of the Domeabra Electrification Project, the construction of a borehole at Akrudwa Number One and presented and helped fund the construction of a palace at Baafi.
He also provided bags of cement and roofing sheets for the construction of the just completed 400-million-cedi six-classroom-block with an office and a store in Bonte.
He was a loner who was so quiet that his absence was not noticed.