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Neo
4th July 2011, 06:38 PM
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Head of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KIPTC), Dr. Kwesi Annin, has described the radar system in the West Africa sub region as bogus and incapable of detecting most of the aircraft flying into the region.

According to him, drug barons had detected this anomaly and started flying illicit drugs into the region before sending them to their final destinations in Europe and America.

According to Dr. Annin, in 2009, a plane full of cocaine landed in Gao, Maliís second largest city, and offloaded its cargo without being noticed by the radar system. The plane was later set ablaze.
Research conducted by The Chronicle newspaper reveals that some planes, especially, the smaller ones, avoid being detected by the radar system, by flying at what is technically known as Ďtree levelí. This way, the plane may be flying 50-100 feet above ground level, making it almost impossible for radar to detect them.

It is not, however, known whether this is the strategy that the drug barons have adopted to outwit security in the West African sub region, but speaking on Good Evening Ghana, a Metro TV current affairs programme last Thursday, Dr, Anning Stated that the drug trade had become sophisticated, and that unless something was done, it would get out of hand. Dr. Anninís revelation comes barely a week after the United Nations (UN) Head of Drugs and Crime in West Africa, Alexandre Schmidt, had alleged that drug barons were now hauling the illicit drugs with submarines in order to outwit security men.

Schmidt, who was speaking in the Senegalese capital Dakar and reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), said he had every reason to believe that the trade was on the increase, rather than abating. As at now, the drugs trade is believed to be worth some $800 million (£494 million) a year.

Just like flying above tree level, countries in West Africa do not have the radar system capable of detecting submarines that travel along our coast. This has raised fears among citizens in the region.
The head of the KIPTC argues that fighting the drug menace, especially, in Ghana, should not be left in the hands of politicians alone, but the judiciary as well.

He regretted that after security agents had arrested cocaine barons carrying illicit drugs worth millions of dollars, a judge sitting in Accra granted them bail in the sum of $2,000. Dr. Annin called for the right legislation to back the fight against the trade.

He noted with concern that some students in second cycle institutions in the country, had been organising Indian hemp smoking competitions among themselves, which called for the urgent need to address the problem.

Dr. annin was also unhappy that politicians were always appointed to head the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), arguing that technocrats should rather be appointed.

He, however, said since cocaine matters have now become political issues in the country, any argument against the appointment of politicians should not be over stretched.

The head of NACOB, Mr. Akrasi Sarpong, who was also the programme, alleged that the drug barons had infiltrated the ranks of politicians in the West Africa sub region, and were using their connections to promote their trade, and specifically mentioned Guinea Bissau, where they succeeded in destablishing the country.

According to the NACOB boss, after the September 11 attacks in the United States of America, all the routes they (barons) were using to transit the drugs were blocked. This, he noted, compelled the barons to turn their attention to West Africa.

Akrasi Sarpong further revealed that drug batons store the cocaine in West Africa, before being shipped to Europe and America, due to instability in the region. Mr. Saprong, who failed to mention names of politicians he claimed were behind the drug trade in the country, said the fight against the drug menace was being fought from all angles, and that no one, irrespective of his or her status in society, would be spared when caught.



Source: The Chronicle