Crime

NACOC female staff arrested in Kotoka Cocaine smuggling

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The Herald, has obtained additional information from its international partners on the 8.5 kilograms of cocaine smuggled through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to Belgium by a Dutch national, Proeger Delgey Bianca, a female, including how she was aided in outmanoeuvring airport officials.

The latest is that, a female staff of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC), the Ghanaian agency under the Ministry of Interior responsible for dealing with the incidence of illicit drug trafficking in the country stationed at KIA, has since been arrested and locked up for helping in the smuggling of the cocaine busted at the Brussels Airport in Belgium.

The development sheds light on the intricate web of complicity behind the illicit operation, involving officials of Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and NACOC among others stationed at KIA, facilitating the trafficking of contraband goods.

Proeger Delgey Bianca, from Paramaribo in Suriname, a small country on the northeastern coast of South America, once colonized by the Dutch, was found to have concealed the cocaine around her waist, ingeniously disguised as undergarments, and used adhesive tape to secure the drugs down to her thighs, to her buttocks, portraying her as a woman with a heavy butt.

She managed to evade security checks with the assistance of the NACOC staff member, who escorted her through the Central Screening Area without undergoing the necessary protocols.

She wore a long flowing dress which covered her whole body down to her legs. Several videos of the incident showed the NACOC staff helping Bianca with her luggage through the Central Screening Area of KIA on the date of her departure to Belgium, skipping the various security checks except for her luggage which was scanned.

She carried a bowl-like object which looked like a big calabash, and did not go through the rigorous body search before boarding the Moroccan national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, on March 23, 2024.

In one of the videos available to The Herald, a man believed to be a senior officer identified as Eric Nartey Yeboah, also known as “Chairman Dollar,” was seen engaging some of the Aviation Security Personnel, thus distracting them from paying attention to Proeger Delgey Bianca’s presence and that NACOC official.

Eric Nartey Yeboah, who the GACL has since interdicted together with some other staff implicated in the cocaine smuggling incident, was not officially on duty during the night of the smuggling incident.

However, his presence at the airport at 3 am during the critical period, and his suspicious behavior, have raised eyebrows.

The 55-year-old Proeger Delgey Bianca spent only five days in Ghana. She arrived on the 18th of March 2024 and was on her way out on the 23rd of March 2024, using a Netherland passport numbered NN6C16RB1.

Meanwhile, a statement from GACL, dated April 10, confirmed the commencement of investigations and the interdiction of the staff involved in the incident following The Herald’s expose’ of the cocaine smuggling saga at KIA.

A statement by the GACL, said it has interdicted all staff implicated in the recent cocaine smuggling incident at the Kotoka International Airport.

The management of GACL reiterated its warning to staff about assisting passengers at the airport, “failing which punitive measures not limited to but including summary dismissals and prosecutions by the State will be effected in line with existing protocols.”

Management wishes to assure the general public of its commitment and determination, in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that operations at the airport are safe and secure.

The statement said “The attention of the Board and Management of GACL has been drawn to the Herald publication dated Wednesday, April 10, 2024, with the above headline.

“Management notes that investigations by relevant authorities into the alleged smuggling of 8.5 kilograms of substance suspected to be cocaine through Kotoka International Airport on March 23, 2024, are ongoing.

“The Board and Management, in line with GACL’s internal administrative processes, has taken swift measures to interdict all GACL staff relevant to the investigation.

“Management has also reiterated its warning to staff regarding the facilitation of passengers at the airport, failing which punitive measures not limited to but including summary dismissals and prosecutions by the State will be effected in line with existing protocols.

Management wishes to assure the general public of its commitment and determination, in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure that operations at the airport are safe and secure.

Eric Nartey Yeboah, who was recently appointed as Cargo Security Manager along with Daniel Abugri in March, is implicated in the scandal.

Yeboah, known as “Chairman Dollar,” was reportedly present at KIA during the time of the drug movement.

His suspicious behaviour, including loitering around the airport at 3 am on the day the drugs were believed to have departed Accra for Brussels, drew attention.

As part of the investigation, NACOC, has requested the release of Aviation Security Personnel who were on duty or present at the Central Screening area on the day preceding the interception of Bianca and her cocaine luggage.

In response to the security breaches and criminal implications of the incident, the GACL Board is said to have approved the management’s decision to conduct a thorough investigation.

A committee has been established within the management of KIA to probe into the matter and submit a report by the end of April.

“Chairman Dollar” is said to have previously served in the General Aviation department of GACL, overseeing private jets.

Reports suggest that, he faced disciplinary action during his time at Wisconsin International University College, Ghana, allegedly for misconduct related to the alteration of academic results to contest for a Student Representative Council (SRC) position. He was dismissed from the school.

Yeboah is known as a prominent figure within the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Madina Abokobi Constituency and holds the position of 2nd Vice Chairman at the Greater Accra Regional level. He is also a former chairman of the NPP for the Madina-La-Nkwantaman Constituency.

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