Chief Executive Officer of Engineers & Planners (E&P) Ibrahim Mahama has been cleared by the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) over allegations that he breached security checks at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) relative to the clearance of three (3) vehicles which he allegedly shipped into the country.
Outspoken New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong, has raised issues with how NACOB has been conducting its business at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in the fight against narcotics trafficking.
He alleged that on February 26, 2018, Ibrahim Mahama brought three cars which were all 2010 Mercedes Benz models into the country with the airport security allowing the cars to pass without the proper checks.
He said the vehicles were brought to the Swissport Ghana Limited facility for shipment abroad for servicing as part of a routine Mahama has been using to ship his cars out for the said servicing.
He claims the vehicles are always parked at the Airport Clinic before the shipment and that no checks are conducted on the vehicles.
On the said date, Mr. Agyapong said when Mahamas vehicles, three Mercedez Benz arrived from abroad and another batch – four vehicles - were being prepared through the Swissport facility for shipment on the same day, the airport security decided not to allow the cars to pass without the proper checks.
He argued that NACOB's modus operandi is making them complicit and cited a recent instance where before NACOB unleashed sniffer dogs into a vehicle at the airport, which was to be exported abroad, they placed cocaine in the car.
However, a statement issued by NACOB discounted the claims made by Kennedy Agyapong revealing that the vehicles were subjected to routine security checks by officials of NACOB with their sniffer dogs.
It said on Monday, 26th February and Wednesday, 28 February 2018, NACOB was called upon to assist in a search operation at Swissport at the Kotoka International Airport. In both instances, NACOB consequently deployed four (4) narcotic detective dogs; namely IRIS, CORA, VIKA and KEA, with their technical handlers from the Canine Unit of NACOB to conduct the search operation.
"The Canine Team on Monday, 26 February arrived at the Swissport at 08:39hours for the exercise. Two (2) vehicles, a Nissan GT and a Mercedes Benz AMG were the objects of interest. The search team had to wait for some time for the vehicles to be driven from their location to the scene of the examination.
"NACOB's Canine Team at 11:42hours made the two (2) vehicles available for search. The vehicles, on arrival at the examination scene, had to cool down for some few minutes before the security agencies took turns to conduct their examination.
"NACOB was the first to conduct its search, followed by BNI and the National Security. Present at the scene for the examination, apart from the security agencies was the clearing agent for the consignment" the statement from NACOB read.
According to them, the four (4) narcotic detective dogs; IRIS, CORA, VIKA and KEA were deployed for the search one at a time, till all four (4) had taken turns for the exercise. The detective dogs they explained, diligently searched all the two (2) vehicles but found no illicit narcotic substance.
"At the end of the entire search operation, the search parties were debriefed and dismissed accordingly," the statement said.
For the search operation on Wednesday, February 28, three (3) vehicles were the objects of interest: a Brabus AMG 850, a Bentley Mulsanne and a Brabus Mercedes AMG. NACOB’s detective dogs, IRIS, CORA, VIKA and KEA arrived at the Swissport at 1100hours for the search operation. The three (3) vehicles were opened for examination few minutes upon the arrival of the Canine Team. NACOB was the first to conduct its search, followed by BNI and National Security. The clearing agent was again present for the examination.
"The four (4) narcotic detective dogs were again deployed for the search one at a time, till all four (4) had taken turns for the exercise. Each dog diligently searched all the three (3) vehicles but found no illicit narcotic substance. At the end of the entire search operation, the search parties were debriefed and dismissed accordingly.
"NACOB wish to assure the general public of its unflinching preparedness in executing its mandate in the fight against illicit drug trafficking and substance abuse. The general public is therefore encouraged to support NACOB in this endeavor, as the fight against drug trafficking and substance abuse is a shared responsibility," the statement added.