Drug trafficking is a global illegal trade that involves the cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of controlled narcotics.
Not long ago, the Ghana Consulate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) voiced alarm about an unexpected surge in the number of Ghanaians attempting to smuggle narcotic substances into Dubai, which resulted in the arrest of five people. Between January 2021 and March 2021, five Ghanaians were arrested at Dubai International Airport for narcotics trafficking, according to the Consulate.
In the meantime, there have also been instances of drug trafficking involving narcotics in our nation. In our international contacts and transactions with our key commercial partners, Ghana has drawn a great deal of vociferous worldwide condemnation and opprobrium as a result of the situation’s alarmingly worrisome scope. This damages the economy. Our nation has evolved into a transhipment hub and route for the trafficking of narcotics like cocaine.
Barons are increasingly concentrating their attention on the Kotoka International Airport. Additionally utilised in this context are the border crossing points at Aflao, Elubo, and Sampaare as well as the ports of Tema, Secondi, and Takoradi. With the help of some criminals from Nigeria and Ghana, South American cocaine trafficking organisations have recently expanded their operations in Ghana.
This was successful because Ghana’s enthusiasm for luring investment provides adequate cover for foreign drug barons who enter the country posing as genuine businessmen. Drug trafficking endangers national security and stability and can stymie a country’s progress. As a result, it is critical to launching a massive frontal assault against the threat through coordinated measures.
First and foremost, total confiscation of illegal drug traffickers’ property and cash should be addressed. Tougher confiscation laws, with a percentage of such resources committed to combating narcotics trafficking, will strengthen Ghana’s anti-narcotics policy. Better control of financial activities is especially critical considering the possibility for drug financial networks to be used by terrorist organisations or for internal purposes.
Additionally, the scourge of illegal drugs can be stopped by conducting thorough background checks and effective due diligence on all potential and current investors whose operations appear dubious. This will stop criminals from entering the country and using banks, the hospitality and fishing industries, and other business ventures as a means of laundering their illegal proceeds.
Additionally, it is necessary to draught new laws or legislation and evaluate current ones to strengthen the judiciary and make the drug trade unappealing to lords, barons, and couriers.
Continuous public education
It is important to note that individuals in society, communities, and neighbourhoods who are involved in the drug trade or who have reliable information about those who do so should be encouraged through ongoing public education campaigns to use the protection provided by the Whistle Blowers’ Bill, which has not yet been passed, to provide information to responsible Boards, Commissions, Task Force members, and undercover organizations. In order to gather crucial information that must then be polished to provide the necessary intelligence to supply the battling authorities, the services of informants need therefore be secured.
Another approach to dealing with the drug problem is to establish an educational line of an operation aimed toward long-term public education about the repercussions of inexperienced individuals who, due to avarice and naivety, are despatched as couriers by eating or carrying drugs in their luggage.
Furthermore, security personnel at our ports of entry and exit should be adequately trained, well-resourced with necessary logistics, and encouraged to be especially professional in the performance of their duties to ensure that there are no lapses and that they do not sacrifice the national interest for their parochial and selfish gains.
Finally, to deter others, drug lords and couriers should get lengthy prison terms. This will aid in disrupting their numerous networks and the command chain. Additionally, they are not permitted to use the country’s security and stability as cover for their illicit financial activities. Drug trafficking must be combated effectively, severely, and urgently.
Therefore, I hope that if these steps are rigorously pursued, they will significantly reduce the drug threat. Additionally, to encourage sustainable socioeconomic development, a welcoming environment for foreign direct investment will be established in the nation.
Let all well-meaning Ghanaians work together with security authorities to prevent drug lords from utilising Ghana’s territory as a conduit for narcotics trafficking. This will protect the country’s goodwill in the eyes of the international community; attract foreign investment for quicker socioeconomic development; and ensure that the prospects for future generations do not become progressively bleak.