Drugs: Ghana airport security boss held

2013-06-06 14:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ghana - The head of security at Ghana's main international airport has been arrested in the US on charges of heroin trafficking, in the latest sign of a growing narcotics trade in west Africa, statements obtained on Wednesday said.

Solomon Adelaquaye, the head of a private firm contracted to run security at the Accra airport, was charged alongside his Colombian and two Nigerian co-conspirators, Ghana's Narcotics Control Board and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said.

In February 2012, Adelaquaye used his influence at the airport to guide a laptop packed with heroin through security in exchange for $10 000, according to the DEA.

Then, last month, the group made new plans to move 3 000kg of cocaine through Accra in 25kg instalments.

All of their negotiations, held mainly in Accra, were caught on tape by uncover DEA agents, statements said.

Adelaquaye, 48, and the two Nigerians - Frank Muodum, and Celestine Ofor Orjinweke - were arrested in New York on May 9, according to the DEA.

It was not clear why they travelled to the US ahead of their arrest and the US embassy in Accra did not immediately respond to enquiries.

Samuel Antonio Pinedo-Rueda, 72, was arrested in Colombia on May 16 and is awaiting extradition, the DEA said.


"Drug trafficking in west Africa has become a plague," Derek Maltz, DEA special agent said in the June 3 statement.

The agency identified Adelaquaye as the individual "who was responsible for security at the international airport in Ghana".

Ghana's narcotics bureau said Adelaquaye was the managing director of a private firm called Sohin Security, which has security contracts at airports across the country.

Those contracts have been "suspended with immediate effect", the bureau said.

Documents filed to a federal court in New York, where the group has been charged, said the heroin came from Afghanistan, which had been brought to Ghana by Pinedo-Rueda.

Analysts say Ghana, a nation of some 25 million people, is an emerging trafficking hub for South American and Asian narcotics destined for sale in the US and Europe.

Transportation infrastructure is advanced compared to other countries in west Africa, but corruption among customs and port officials remains rampant, according to analysts.

Read more on:    us  |  ghana  |  west africa  |  narcotics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.