ECOWAS,INTERPOL seize 7.8 million kilos of drugs in Ghana,Togo, Benin in three days

A three day joint ECOWAS-INTERPOL operation has resulted in a large seizure of 7,894,275 kilogrammes (kg) quantities of different drugs in three West African countries – Ghana, Togo and Benin.

The drugs included cocaine, heroin, cannabis and psychotropic substances.

The operation, code named “ATAKORA”, was carried out at the three countries’ airports, sea ports and land borders from July 26-28, 2012 in which some 74 drug traffickers were arrested, ECOWAS said in a statement August 7, 2012.

“Law enforcement officers from agencies responsible for drug investigations in three ECOWAS countries have completed a week-long capacity building training-cum-operational activities in Benin, Togo and Ghana, during which some 74 drug traffickers were arrested while 7,894,275 kg quantities of different drugs were seized,” the West African regional bloc stated.

Giving the breakdown, ECOWAS says the seizures showed that “Benin accounted for 376,675 kg of drugs, Ghana 24 kg and Togo 7,493,600 kg.”

It indicated that the operation was carried out within the framework of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Drugs and INTERPOL’s action in support of member countries from the African region, aimed at detecting and dismantling criminal organized networks using West Africa to traffic cocaine, heroin, cannabis and psychotropic substances.

There are an estimated 2.3 million cocaine users in West Africa and about 30 tonnes of cocaine and 400 kilogrammes of heroin were trafficked in the region during the year 2011, the United Nations has said.

The UN no longer sees West Africa as simply a transit route for drugs but that it has also “become a final destination” as there are now up to 2.3 million cocaine users in West and Central Africa, most of them in West Africa, according to the World Drug Report 2012.

The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr Yury Fedotov recently told the UN Security Council of his worries about the drug situation in West Africa.

Fedotov told the Council, that with increased trafficking, production and consumption of drugs, as well as piracy and insecurity, West Africa represents one of the key challenges for UNODC and remains one of its priorities.

The UNODC boss stressed the need for coordinated action in the face of these rapidly evolving transnational threats.

The United States is said to have begun training special anti-drugs police squads in Ghana in order fight the rising drugs flows through Africa to Europe.

By Ekow Quandzie

  1. Anonymous says

    This is really shocking. But I’m happy the least quantity was found in Ghana.

  2. raji says

    i know my country Ghana we will continue to be the best with prayers from every side

  3. Worogo says

    Is not that clear that some countries bad leaders are also involving in doing that dirty job if not why it take so long to catch them? Please do more effort to arrest and brought to justice these evil doers who are destroying people’s lives including the so called states leader

  4. Anonymous says

    ECOWAS Interpol mission is un clear..sldnt have sidelined Nigeria in the exercise. It isnt realistic if Ghana, Togo & Benin Rep are safe from drug traffikers, when Nigeria is uncleansed. -When next, work together to bar existance of such criminals’ safe haven left behind.

  5. Gart Valenc says

    The figure reported, nearly 8,000 tons, do not seem to make sense. Contrast that with:

    “…about 30 tonnes of cocaine and 400 kilogrammes of heroin were trafficked in the region during the year 2011, the United Nations has said”.

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

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