In what could become the latest tale of missing narcotics in the custody of the state, 100.1 grams of a whitish substance suspected to be cocaine cannot be accounted for by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
According to the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC), the incident occurred on Sunday, June 7, 2020, at Aflao in the Volta Region.
Director-General of NACOC, Francis Torkornoo said his officers after impounding a vehicle that had concealed the substances under its fuel tank on Friday, June 2020, took inventory of all the packages, which included $200,000 and wanted to send it to Accra for investigations but Customs officers refused.
“When they dropped the fuel tank, there was this false compartment under the vehicle containing various parcels and an amount of $200,000. After the inventory, as expected, NACOC wanted to the bring the vehicle to Accra for investigations to start, but the Customs officers refused, saying that they need to hear from their superiors from Accra,” he said.
He added that, “The team had a meeting and another inventory was taken [on Sunday] and this time, one whitish substance weighing 100.1 gram was missing from all that they saw on Friday. So my officers insisted that if the narration of the inventory does not change, they were not going to sign,” he said.
In a later interview on Eyewitness News, Francis Torkornoo said although NACOC maintains a friendly relationship with the Customs Division of the GRA, NACOC has not been enthused about some incidents that have happened in the recent past.
He cited an incident where NACOC seized some suspected banned substance and due to some actions by customs including announcing in the media that it was them who seized the items and that it was cocaine, NACOC was unable to arrest some suspects who were behind the transportation of the banned substance.
He said his outfit has since written to the Commissioner of Customs to request the transfer of the vehicle to NACOC to allow them to conduct investigations.
“As at now, we have not received any of the parcels to perform a close test to know that really the content has narcotic substances and also if the items are handed to us, we will start our investigations… Nothing has been given to us so we have formally written to the Commission of Customers to transfer the vehicle and all the contents to Narcotics Control Commission. Hitherto, it was something we said they should keep, but they arrogated it to themselves to say that they need clearance before they will take it to their Headquarters before giving to us and it is something that is bizarre.”