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Technical Assistance Project to counter drug trafficking and organised crime launched

May 17, 2016, 10:10 a.m.

A two-year project has been launched to enhance the capacity of the security agencies to counter drug trafficking and organised crime.

The project is being funded by the United States government’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (US/INL) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at a cost of $1 million.

Mr Prosper Bani, Minister of Interior, launching the project, stated that the fight against crime cannot be effective if there are weak points in the chain of global law enforcement.

According to him, there is the need for capacity building in terms of training, equipment, information sharing, technology transfer among nations, as well as harnessing the co-operation of countries.

“The borderless nature of crime threatens our security and calls for stronger global collaboration and co-operation in the fight against crime at all levels,” he added.

He held that the scope of the partnership reflects the shared understanding that the tentacles of crime know no national borders, adding that this project seeks to strengthen Drug Law Enforcement Units of the Criminal Investigation Department in particular and the Ghana Police Service and other sister law enforcement agencies.

Mr Bani assured the Ghana Police Service that the government would continue to embark on ambitious programmes aimed at equipping the Police Service and sister security agencies in the country to deal effectively with sophisticated crime and the dynamics of it.

He seized the opportunity to thank the United States government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for their support.

COP Mrs Rose Bio Atinga, Director/General, Research and Planning of the Ghana Police Service, who represented the Inspector General of Police, Mr John Kudalor, stated that drug trafficking and organised crime pose a great threat to the overall security of any nation.

“It is against this backdrop that I welcome the formal launching of a Technical Assistance Project aimed at countering drug trafficking and organised crime. This project would go a long way to further improve the capacity and the capability of the investigators of the Criminal Investigations Department,” she stressed.

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert Porter Jackson, noted that the capacity and technical challenges of law enforcement agencies in Ghana to effectively fight the drug menace and to support prosecutions have been cited in numerous studies.

Mr Jackson was positive that after the project, issues relating to drug and organised crime will see a decrease.

Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), advised the gathering not to forget that integrity, which comes from the human factor, is an important component in the fight against crime and drug trafficking.

“There must be scientific scales to test the human integrity of those being trained to make sure that all efforts to fight this menace of organised crime and drug trafficking do not become futile,” he cautioned.

COP Mr Prosper Agblor, Director/General Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service, lauded the project and noted that it will help develop effective strategies to minimise the continuing scourge of drug trafficking in West Africa and the sophisticated nature of the operations of drug cartels and other organised criminal groups.