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Friday, September 11, 2009

Amoateng Is Coming Home To Enjoy

The U.S Bureau of Prisons has stated that ex-Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, who is currently doing time in CI Moshannon Valley prison in the USA, for trafficking 136 pounds of heroin, valued at over $5 million, would be released on July 30, 2014.

Judge David G. Tragger, delivered the judgment on December 12, 2007 and sentenced the New Patriotic Party (NPP) ex-MP to a 10-year jail term.

The MP was arrested on December 11, 2005 in the U.S.

Two years ago, ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor thwarted investigations by the Narcotic Controls Board (NACOB) into the assets of Eric Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei, his accomplice, for the purposes of confiscating them to the state in accordance with PNDC law 236.

Eight months into the administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, assets investigations on Eric Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei have not been concluded, let alone going through the tortuous journey of confiscating them through the court. The terms of reference of the investigations for NACOB included identifying properties of both Eric Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei who were imprisoned in respect of the heroine.

The investigations, which were earnestly begun by NACOB, were halted by President John Kufuor when he appointed a Minister, who was questioned by NACOB investigators in respect of the arrest of Amoateng, to head the Interior Ministry which supervised NACOB.

Before the investigations were halted, a NACOB report had already located the assets of Nii Okai Adjei, and had indicated that they intended to investigate the assets of Eric Amoateng.

An initial report from NACOB stated that: “So far, three residential properties have been identified to be belonging to Nii Okai Adjei. They are located in Teshie Nungua catchment area. Efforts are being made to travel to Nkoranza to conduct assets investigations on Eric Amoateng. After the identification and location, Narcotic Control Board intends to pursue the assets for confiscation in accordance with PNDC Law 236.”

Nii Okai Adjei, who has already served his prison term, has returned to Ghana to enjoy his properties. Follow-up investigations by NACOB on possible accomplices in Ghana, led them to question a former sitting minister of the previous government, regarding his association with a certain George Owusu, a name which kept coming up in their investigations.

The NACOB investigations had revealed that, that George Owusu, had direct dealings with Eric Amoateng in the drug trade. It emerged that NACOB, following intelligence, interrogated a certain George Owusu, who had shipped ceramics from the US to a foundation established by the said minister.

NACOB, suspected that the George Owusu man could be the one who shipped the heroin on behalf of Amoateng. Before the assets investigations could be concluded, former President Kufuor announced that the minister, who had been officially questioned by Narcotic Board investigators in respect of the Amoateng case, much to his displeasure, had been appointed as the Minister of Interior.

Narcotic Control Board is under the Ministry of Interior.

The investigations into assets were therefore abandoned and the government has since then ended the journey to continue the process of investigations and confiscation of the property of both Eric Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei.

Not long after the Minister took office, the Interior Ministry announced that five kilos of cocaine in the custody of NACOB being part of the 30kilos seized from the MV Benjamin was missing. The casualties of the missing cocaine incidentally were the officers involved in questioning the Minister in respect of the Amoateng probe.

They were asked to go on leave to pave way for investigations.

Three years on the officers have still not been recalled to office though no report on the missing cocaine has seen the light of the day. Eight months into the NDC government’s administration, the officers are still at home, whist investigations into the assets of both Nii Okai and Eric Amoateng have not been done.

The NDC had insisted on a proper investigation into the Amoateng case.

The Enquirer

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