A joint operation between the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom (UK) has led to the arrest and prosecution of four Ghanaians involved in the trafficking of cocaine from Ghana to the UK.
The convicts, Eric Kusi Appiah, 51; Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi, 52; Jennifer Agyemang, 38, Julius Tetteh Puplampu, 56, were arrested at separate times and convicted after being found guilty.
This was after NACOC had launched investigations into the activities of the syndicate identified for trafficking cocaine from Ghana to the UK through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Appiah was arrested on April 30 last year at the Heathrow Airport for attempting to traffic 17 kilogrammes (kg) of cocaine worth £1.3 million, hidden in food boxes into the UK.
A press statement signed by the Head of Communications and Media Relations of NACOC, Mr Francis Opoku Amoah, explained that following the arrest of Appiah, who was sentenced to six years imprisonment, a joint operation, dubbed “Operation Grid”, was launched between NACOC and NCA to fish our other members of the syndicate.
The operation, according to the syndicate, led to the arrest of Gyamfi, Agyemang and Puplampu.
Gyamfi and Agyemang, according to the statement, were allowed to travel to the UK as part of the operational strategy.
The statement said the two, upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport on May 15, 2021, were arrested for attempting to traffic 15kg of cocaine worth £1.1 million into the UK.
“The cocaine was found concealed in the base of the suitcase of Agyemang and forensic analysis also revealed a high reading of cocaine on the suitcase of Gyamfi,” the statement said.
Puplampu on the other hand, left Ghana for the UK on August 13, 2021 and was arrested upon his arrival at the Heathrow Airport on August 14, 2021 for attempting to traffic 6kg of cocaine worth £480,000 into the UK.
“Puplampu has a previous conviction in Ghana for a similar offence where he was convicted 10 years imprisonment in 2012, following his arrest by NACOC for trafficking cocaine from Ghana into the UK,” the statement added.
“Gyamfi was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment, Agyemang was sentenced to six years and nine months imprisonment, and on Thursday, February 10, 2022, Puplampu was also sentenced to six (6) years and nine (9) months imprisonment,” the statement added.
On December 7, 2021, the statement said two more individuals linked to the syndicate were arrested in Ghana for their involvement in the case.
NACOC, through the statement, emphasised its continuous commitment to collaborate with international partners to protect the country’s borders and communities from criminal drug syndicates who use the country as a transit point for illicit drug trade.