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21.11.2005 General News

NPP distances itself from "drug" MP

By GNA
NPP distances itself from
LISTEN NOV 21, 2005

Accra, Nov. 21, GNA - The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Monday distanced itself from an alleged drug smuggling by the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Mr Eric Amoateng saying it was a reckless and perilous adventure by an individual for which the Party should not be responsible.

"The New Patriotic Party is surprised, shocked and saddened by this development, if indeed, Mr Eric Amoateng has been involved in this criminal conduct," it said in a statement signed by Mr Harona Esseku, NPP Chairman.

"The NPP wishes to dissociate itself, without reservation, from this crime."

The statement said official information had been received by the government from the US to the effect that Mr Amoateng had been arrested in connection with drug trafficking in the US.

"A conduct of this nature is harmful to the image of the Party, Parliament and the Nation and we consider it deplorable and unpardonable.

"We hope the matter will be dealt with appropriately and that the law will take its normal course, both in the USA and in Ghana."

Mr Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei were arrested in the US on November 12 when they allegedly picked up a shipment of 136 pounds of heroin with a street value of more than six million dollars concealed on crates of pottery.

They were arrested at a Staten Island storage facility where they had begun dismantling the crates, according to Martin Ficke, special agent in charge of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The men flew to New York from Accra on November 10, a day after the shipment of heroin arrived in seven crates of pottery from London, Ficke said.

They picked up the crates the following day at John F. Kennedy International Airport and drove them to the Staten Island storage facility.

Customs agents examined the crates at Newark (NJ) Liberty International Airport and discovered the heroin, which is one of the largest shipments in recent memory.

They were arraigned on November 14 on charges of conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin and were held without bail.

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