Narcotics Control Board officials stationed at the Aflao Border have virtually turned themselves into policemen, arresting traders unduly and collecting monies from travelers.
These NACOB officers constantly check travelers’ bags, seizing goods such as mobile phones and accessories.
The Vice Chairman of the NPP in the Ketu South Constituency, Daniel Akpalu who is also a security expert decried the development.
According to him the country had experienced the PNDC era and Kuffor government but some of these things happening today on our borders were not there because there was strict supervision.
He narrated an incidence where two NACOB officers who converted their offices into a police station accepting complaints from traders and travellers and arresting people, decided to abuse their “powers” with impunity.
He narrated that he (Akpalu) was approached by a trader who complained to him that his goods including mobile phones and accessories were seized by some NACOB officials, so he went to the office to ascertain what the matter was.
He explained that the victim was given a phone to sell by a friend, the phone was sold but on credit by one of the drivers who plight the Aflao – Nigeria route and was yet to return the cash to him.
According to Daniel Akpalu, the owner of the phone reported the matter to the NACOB officials instead of reporting to the police to conduct their own investigations into the matter.
“These NACOB Boys also took the matter into their own hands and seized the goods belonging to the victim. When I confronted them over the issue, they (NACOB) officials told me they were given the power to arrest anybody and that they have the authority to receive complaints on behalf of the police,” he said.
He said one Abdul Aziz, one of the NACOB officials at the Border told him they were investigating the case and for that matter, will not release the items to the trader and was insisting that the victim pays before his goods will be released.
He also revealed that, the NACOB officials later brought him into their office and wanted to handcuff him for obstructing their work. This, he said resulted in a scuffle until their Boss, came in to remedy the situation.
According to Daniel Akpalu, it took the District Chief Executive and the NPP Volta Regional Chairman to drive to the scene when he (Akpalu) called to brief them about how NACOB officials are abusing their ‘powers’ at the border to the displeasure of traders and travelers.
“I am not here to impede on the integrity of any institutions or regulatory agencies, but let’s be car fuel and that the integrity of some state institutions are gradually eroding. That’s why I continued to say that moral and discipline had virtually broken down in the security service at the Aflao border and they had lost their sense of propriety, honesty and good naturedness,” he said.
He said the time has come for the duties of NACOB at the Aflao border to be redefined, stressing that NACOB is not a law enforcement agency but a regulatory body hence, their officials have no right to arrest traders for that matter mobile phone sellers.
“Even if the matter had been reported to them, they should have referred the complainant to the police to lodge a formal complaint for necessary action to be taken,” he said.
He said, it is obvious that the NACOTICS Control personnel at Aflao border dont known what they are there to do, “they don’t know what they have been assigned to do.”
“One would assume that they are here to oversee the flow of illegal drugs coming into the country. They turned to police officer receiving formal complaints, for investigation that is what they are doing now at the border, otherwise they would not receive envelopes after checking people who are carrying drugs,” he said.
Meanwhwile, information gathered later is that the NPP Regional Chairman Honorable Makafui Kofi Wonya and the Municipal Chief Executive for Ketu South, Honorable Edem Elliot Agbenorwu were there to warn them of their operations.