The dismissed Board Chairman of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Baffour Assasie-Gyimah (Rtd) has revealed that his outfit raised red flags about the security issues at the VVIP lounge at the Kotoka International Airport.
He also disclosed that scanners at Ghana’s only international airport belong to a private company.
This, he said hinders the ability of NACOB to effectively check the many travelers who use the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) daily since the machines could be compromised.
In an interview on Eyewitness News, the dismissed NACOB board chair explained that his outfit had on several occasions written to the appropriate authorities to rectify the problem.
[contextly_sidebar id=”zsH3LykstdVDo4AShBFrMSUqtacHptMB”]He said it was a high security risk to allow a private individual to provide scanners for the nation’s airport and sea ports.
“The scanners at the airport belong to a private company. The scanners at the airport and the sea ports belong to a private company. Can you believe that?” he asked.
“We have written, we have sort audience that how could we operate a system that is managed by a private person? And nobody even knows the antecedents of that particular private person and it’s worrying as a country. That has been a failure and we have articulated this most of the time and there are a lot of correspondents from our end,” he said.
Assasie-Gyimah also pointed out that the VVIP lounge at the KIA currently has an x-ray machine with no scanners.
“…in this case, they have only an x-ray equipment at the VVIP and that does not detect drugs,” he said.
The absence of the right scanners at the VVIP lounge according to him, impedes their ability to effectively scan the numerous persons who have been given the pass to use the lounge.
He complained saying, “the problem at the VVIP is that a lot of people have been allowed to use the place; lots of unauthorized people have been allowed to use the place…so the drug lords, the drug barons they exploited that particular situation and use it to their advantage and it is not NACOB.
We had continuously done whatever we thought was right and we have been proved right that at least, we need a scanner at the VVIP.”
Assasie-Gyimah stressed that “NACOB does not control security at the Airport. NACOB does not also control the VVIP lounge where the woman is alleged to have passed and so why will you single out NACOB if there is that infraction?”
Assasie-Gyimah’s disclosure comes on the back of the cocaine scandal which rocked the nation last week.
A Ghanaian woman called Nayele Ametefeh also known as Ruby Adu Gyamfi was on November 10 nabbed at the Heathrow Airport in the UK for attempting to smuggle 12.5 kilograms of cocaine.
It later emerged that Ms Ametefeh was allowed to use the VVIP lounge at the KIA on November 9 without going through normal security checks.
Following this revelation, three persons were picked up by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for the role they played in aiding Ms Ametefeh to smuggle the 12.5 kilogram cocaine.
They are a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abiel Ashitey Armah, Theophilus Kissi of the Research Department attached to the VVIP Lounge at the Kotoka International Airport and Abubakar Ahmed, a civil servant.
These security lapses are believed to have informed the President’s decision to dissolve the NACOB board.
The dissolution, according to Assasie-Gyimah was made to “please an angry and displeased god.”
“I cannot understand why the dissolution took place. Could it be a case of sacrificing a weak and innocent lamb to appease an angry and besieged god? …,” he said.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana