The arrest and conviction of four Ghanaians engaged in the trafficking of cocaine from Ghana to the UK were made possible by a combined operation between the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom (UK).
Eric Kusi Appiah, 51; Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi, 52; Jennifer Agyemang, 38; and Julius Tetteh Puplampu, 56, were all arrested and found guilty at different periods.
This came after the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACOC) initiated an inquiry into the operations of a gang suspected of trafficking cocaine from Ghana to the United Kingdom through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Appiah was detained at Heathrow Airport on April 30 last year for trying to smuggle 17 kilograms (kg) of cocaine worth £1.3 million into the UK disguised in food cartons.
Following the arrest of Appiah, who was sentenced to six years in prison, a joint operation dubbed “Operation Grid” was launched between NACOC and NCA to fish our other members of the syndicate, according to a press statement signed by NACOC’s Head of Communications and Media Relations, Mr. Francis Opoku Amoah.
Gyamfi, Agyemang, and Puplampu were arrested as a result of the operation, according to the syndicate.
According to the statement, Gyamfi and Agyemang were permitted to go to the United Kingdom as part of the operational plan.
The two were detained at Heathrow Airport on May 15, 2021, for trying to smuggle 15kg of cocaine worth £1.1 million into the UK, according to the statement.
“The cocaine was discovered hidden in the base of Agyemang’s bag, and forensic investigation confirmed a high reading of cocaine on Gyamfi’s suitcase,” the statement stated.
Puplampu, on the other hand, flew from Ghana to the United Kingdom on August 13, 2021, and was detained on August 14, 2021, at Heathrow Airport for trying to smuggle 6kg of cocaine worth £480,000 into the country.
“Puplampu has a prior conviction in Ghana for a similar offense, for which he was sentenced to ten years in jail in 2012 after being apprehended by NACOC for trafficking cocaine from Ghana into the United Kingdom,” the statement said.
“Gyamfi was sentenced to nine years in jail, Agyemang to six years and nine months in prison, and Puplampu was condemned to six (6) years and nine (9) months in prison on Thursday, February 10, 2022,” according to the statement.
Two additional persons associated with the syndicate were detained in Ghana for their role in the case on December 7, 2021, according to the statement.
Through the statement, NACOC reaffirmed its commitment to working with international partners to defend the country’s borders and people from criminal drug cartels that utilize the country as a transit hub for illegal drug trafficking.