My officers not responsible for missing cocaine – NACOC boss
The Director-General of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC), Francis Torkornoo, has vehemently refuted claims by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) that his officers may have stolen 100.1 grams of suspected cocaine that has gone missing.
His comments come on the back of accusations levelled by the Sector Commander of the Ghana Revenue Authority Customs Division, Majeed Amandi that the 100.1 grams of suspected cocaine that mysteriously went missing may have been stolen by officials of the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) or swept away.
Francis Torkono said his men did not have anything to do with the missing substance since it disappeared in the custody of the GRA. He also added that the idea of the suspected cocaine being swept away is unbelievable.
“My quick comment is that my officers did not take that parcel. It is very interesting to hear that the parcel could have been swept; by who? When, at what time? These things were counted on Friday and straight away, they took it to the armoury to be kept there. They brought it out again on Sunday and it was there that they realised that it was missing. No one else has the key to the armoury but them. And the Customs Officer who signed the inventory confirmed it that it was on Sunday that they couldn’t find it and that they will investigate, and there are pictures to prove it. So what are they trying to do now? When they realised the thing was missing why didn’t they inform their Commissioner about it when they came to Accra?”
The Director-General of NACOC, Francis Torkornoo had earlier indicated Customs officers had refused to allow the transportation of the substance which was concealed in a vehicle headed Accra impounded by NACOC.
“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.
The two institutions at the centre of the saga — the Narcotics Control Commission and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority are at each other’s throat as to which of them should be held liable.
Francis Torkornoo, Director-General of NACOB explained that his officers impounded a vehicle that had concealed the substances under its fuel tank on Friday, June 5.
The narcotics substance and US$200,000 cash, which was in $100 and $50 bills, was in a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicle with a Nigerian registration number, LSR 815 FV, which was crossing into Ghana from Togo.
According to Torkornoo, some of the substances were allegedly detected missing on Sunday, June 7, 2020, when the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) invited all agencies at the border post to verify the exhibits the Narcotics officers left in the custody of Customs on Friday.
The inspection was, however, to be done before the scheduled escort to the headquarters of the GRA in Accra.
Mr Torkonoo indicated that the Narcotics officers had protested that the substances per the Narcotics Control Commission Act were to be left in the custody of narcotics officers whilst investigations were being done but the Customs officers ignored the advice and insisted they would keep the aforementioned items in their custody and later transport it to their headquarters in Accra.
“The verification exercise revealed that parcel (h), a 100.10g of whitish substance wrapped in transparent polythene, suspected to be cocaine, was missing,” he recounted.
Citing Section 72 of the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 which also talks about the seizure of currency, Francis Torkonoo said, NACOB has the “backing of the law to ask Customs to transfer the vehicle and all its contents to us for investigations to start in earnest, but since the seizure of the whitish substances suspected to be narcotics at the Kpoglu border on Friday, June 5, 2020, we are yet to receive all the exhibits from the scene.”