Four Ghanaian syndicates have been sentenced to prison in the United Kingdom for smuggling 38 kilograms of cocaine worth £2.88 million.
The Isleworth Crown Court in the United Kingdom, UK, sentenced a four-member drug conspiracy of Ghanaian descent to prison for trafficking 38 kilogrammes (38kgs) of cocaine with a street value of £2.88 million.
The drugs were allegedly smuggled from Ghana to the United Kingdom by the syndicate (UK).
Eric Kusi Appiah, 51, was sentenced to nine years in jail; Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi, 52, was sentenced to nine years in prison; Jennifer Agyemang, 38, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison; and Julius Tetteh Puplampu, 56, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.
The arrest and prosecution were carried out jointly by NACOC and the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom, according to a statement made by the Narcotics Control Commission, NACOC.
In January 2021, NACOC began investigating the actions of the syndicate that was transporting the forbidden chemical through the Kotoka International Airport, according to the statement.
According to Francis Opoku Amoah, NACOC’s Head of Communications and Media Relations, investigations led to the arrest of Eric Kusi Appiah in the United Kingdom on April 30, 2021, at Heathrow Airport, for attempting to traffic 17kgs of cocaine worth £1.3 million hidden in food boxes into the United Kingdom.
Following Appiah’s arrest, NACOC and NCA – UK launched “Operation Grid,” a combined operation aimed at capturing more members of the syndicate.
Other members of the syndicate were identified throughout the operation, he claimed.
“On 14 May 2021, Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi and Jennifer Agyemang travelled to the United Kingdom via KIA, and Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi and Jennifer Agyemang were allowed to go to the United Kingdom as part of the operating strategy.”
“They were arrested upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport on 15 May 2021 for attempting to smuggle fifteen kilogrammes (15kgs) of cocaine worth one million one hundred thousand pounds sterling (£1.1 million) into the United Kingdom.”
“The cocaine was discovered hidden in the bottom of Jennifer Agyemang’s bag. According to the statement, “forensic analysis found a high reading of cocaine on Albert Kaakyire Gyamfi’s suitcase.”
Julius Tetteh Puplampu, an ex-convict who was sentenced to ten years in prison in Ghana for the same crime in 2012, was also apprehended at Heathrow after trafficking cocaine from Ghana and putting it at the bottom of his bag.
“Two more persons associated with the syndicate were detained in Ghana for their involvement in the crime on December 7, 2021,” the statement continued.
The Narcotics Control Commission has expressed appreciation for the UK authorities’ cooperation and pledged to defend the country’s borders against criminal drug trafficking.