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18.10.2004 General News

Security Agencies undergo training in narcotics control

By GNA

Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - A four-week Inter-agency Counter-Narcotics Training was on Monday opened in Accra with a call on security agencies to strengthen frontline protection against the scourge of drug trafficking.

The training programme funded by the US Department of State's International Narcotics and Law Bureau brought together officers from the Police, Immigration, Customs Excise and Preventive Service and security officials from the Kotoka International Airport to learn more about detecting, preventing and prosecuting the smuggling of illegal substances into and through Ghana.

The training is also designed to build the capacity of the Narcotic Control Board through a 'train the trainers' approach that would better enable Ghanaian officers to train one another.

"We hope the training and equipment we are proving will help strengthen the frontline protection to the hardworking people of Ghana as well as the people of the US and other countries against the scourge of drug trafficking, which threatens our livelihoods, and our countries' internal peace and stability", Mr. Jerry Lainer, Deputy Chief of Mission said at the ceremony.

He also noted that the commitment of the Ministry of the Interior to reducing illegal drug trafficking both in Ghana and in West Africa was a step in the right direction.

Mr. Edwin Barnes, Chief Director of the Ministry of Interior, said the problem of narcotics was a global one and needed a concerted approach and called on participants to put into practice the knowledge they would acquire.

He expressed his appreciation to the US for the assistance given in the past to the Narcotic Control Board to help control the availability of drugs not only in the country but also in the West Africa sub-region. Colonel Isaac Akuoko, Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board said it was the hope of the Board that at the end of the programme participants would sharpen their skills, intelligence gathering abilities to combat the problem of drug trafficking.

He urged participants to remain focused and sharper in their quest to counter narcotics so that Ghanaians, Americans and the world would be the ultimate beneficiaries of this international co-operation.

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