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A four-member drug syndicate of Ghanaian origin has been jailed by the Isleworth Crown Court in the United Kingdom, UK, for trafficking 38 kilogrammes (38kgs) of cocaine with a street value of £2.88 million. The syndicate is said to have trafficked the drugs from Ghana to the United Kingdom (UK). The suspects are; Eric Kusi Appiah, 51, nine years imprisonment; Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi, 52, nine years imprisonment; Jennifer Agyemang, 38, six years and nine months imprisonment; and Julius Tetteh Puplampu, 56, six years and nine-months imprisonment.
A statement released by the Narcotics Control Commission said the arrest and prosecution was jointly done by NACOC and the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the UK. The statement explained, NACOC began looking into the activities of the syndicate, which was moving the banned substance through the Kotoka International Airport in January 2021. Francis Opoku Amoah, Head, Communications and Media Relations, NACOC, indicated further in the statement that, investigations led to the arrest of Eric Kusi Appiah in the UK on April 30, 2021, at Heathrow Airport for attempting to traffic into the UK, 17kgs of cocaine worth £1.3 million, which was hidden in food boxes.
The arrest of Appiah resulted in a joint operation between NACOC and NCA – UK dubbed “Operation Grid,” which was aimed at fishing out other members of the syndicate. He said during the operation, other members of the syndicate were identified. “On 14 May 2021, Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi and Jennifer Agyemang travelled through KIA to the UK and as part of the operational strategy, Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi and Jennifer Agyemang were allowed to travel to the UK. Upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport, on 15 May 2021, they were arrested for attempting to traffic into UK fifteen kilogrammes (15kgs) of cocaine worth one million one hundred-thousand-pound sterling (£1.1 million).
The cocaine was found concealed in the base of the suitcase of Jennifer Agyemang. Forensic analysis also revealed a high reading of cocaine on the suitcase of Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi,” the statement said. Julius Tetteh Puplampu, who is said to be an ex-convict who was jailed 10 years in 2012 for the same offence in Ghana, was also arrested at Heathrow after trafficking cocaine from Ghana by concealing it at the base of his suitcase. “On 7 December 2021, two more individuals linked to the syndicate were arrested in Ghana for their involvement in the case,” the statement added.
The Narcotics Control Commission has expressed satisfaction with the collaboration with the UK authorities and promised to commit to protecting the country’s borders from criminal drug syndicates.
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