– Drug-Trafficking Blues

…As Govt Hounds Nayele Ametefe, But Leaves Eric Amoateng To Enjoy Drug Properties

Media reports still afresh about the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB)’s donation of some assets belonging to cocaine queen-pin, Nayele Ametefe, to charity, have invoked a throwback down the memory lane of Ghana’s drug trafficking problem.

As Nayele, alias Ruby Adu Gyamfi, loses prized furniture in Ghana while doing jail time in the United Kingdom and NACOB closes in on confiscating two mansions belonging to her, a natural regurgitation of the story of her reprobate mentor, Eric Amoateng, occurs.

Amoateng, a disgraced former Member of Parliament of Nkoranza North and financier of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), allegedly recruited a young and impressionable Nayele Ametefe in 2004 and taught her the ropes of the drug trade.

From her home in Kumasi, Mr. Amoateng is said to have relocated Nayele to Accra and role-modeled for her while serving as guru and a savant in the enterprise of hard drugs.

A year into the apprenticeship of Nayele, however, Hon. Amoateng was arrested in the United States with heroin.

He subsequently was jailed for 10 years in the US.

Plain-talking former Chief Executive of the Free Zones Board, Kwadwo Twum Boafo, who revealed the mentorship of Nayele Ametefe by Amoateng in January, 2015, has since dared Eric Amoateng to deny the revelation.

“The lady, Nayele Ametefe, and her lawyer have claimed that in 2004 it was a politician who introduced her into the cocaine business… I am saying this with authority and quote me anywhere, I am saying it was Eric Amoateing, who introduced her into the business.

“He was the one who brought her from Kumasi to Accra and introduced her into the business. If Eric Amoateng feels that I am lying, he is in town, he should call you people and deny. I said if Eric Amoateng likes, he should call you and deny, I am the one saying it,” Mr. Twum Boafo had told Accra-based Montie FM in 2015.

The ex-convict NPP financier, who was deported back to Ghana in 2014, has since remained mum.

Nayele Ametefe, alias Ruby Adu Gyamfi, alias Cocaine Lagarta, has herself also revealed that up until her busting in 2014, she had enjoyed protection and facilitation in her drug dealing by politicians.

The government’s demonstrated alacrity, in confiscating her assets, has drawn comparison to what is seen as kid’s gloves that her mentor, Amoateng, had been treated with.

Nayele was arrested at the Heathrow Airport in November, 2014, for attempting to smuggle cocaine worth 1.9million pounds into the UK, and was sentenced to 8 years 8 months imprisonment by a court there in 2015. Eric Amoateng and an accomplice, Nii Okai Adjei, were busted in December, 2005 at JFK Airport with 136 pounds of heroin valued at $5million and jailed for 10 years.

But while NACOB has, in just two years into the jailing of Nayele, already confiscated and donated some assets of Nayele to charity, and is on firm footing to confiscate her mansions in Pease in the Ashanti Region and East Legon in Accra respectively, Eric Amoateng still has his assets to his name three years after serving his 10-year jail term.

As at 2012, a listing of the assets of the former Nkoranza North MP by NACOB, included a large walled parcel of land made up of four plots with one completed bungalow and a huge uncompleted two-storey building at Mandela, a suburb of Accra.

Besides the property in Accra, 12 other properties and assets said to belong to Amoateng had been identified in the Brong Ahafo Region.

They included an agricultural company; FM radio station in which Amoateng was believed to be a shareholder, an unnamed heavy equipment company; a mansion at Breman, a suburb of Nkoranza, and a house at Anoma.

Others included a guesthouse at Hansua in Techiman, an uncompleted guesthouse at Nkoranza, a commercial farm, a tomato factory and a water manufacturing company at Bonsu.

Properties identified and said to belong to his accomplice, Nii Adjei, at the time include a one-storey residential accommodation around the Nungua beach, another one-storey residential accommodation located at the Nungua Estates and one unit house off the main Nungua-Tema road.

In August 2012, there were some media reports that the then National Democratic Congress government had confiscated all the assets of the former drug-dealing MP and bankroller of the ruling NPP. However, by November of the same year, then Deputy Interior Minister at the time, James Agalga, had announced that efforts were still being made to confiscate the assets.

According to Mr. Agalga, the NDC government needed to follow through a long procedural roadmap, which included extracting the record of proceedings of the Amoateng case from the US court, which had jailed him.

The NDC would go on to be in government for two more years and fail to use its eight years in power to confiscate the ex convict narco MP’s assets. The NDC’s failure at the 2016 elections, and the election of the NPP into office was very suggestive that hopes of the state’s confiscation of Amoateng’s properties according to the anti-narcotics laws of Ghana were dashed.

The NPP which won the 2016 elections was a rich beneficiary of the largesse Eric Amoateng’s drug money, as the man who had run on the party’s ticket to become MP for Nkoranza North is a longstanding respected financier of the party. A generous anti-hero, Amoateng had even sponsored the election campaigns of some NPP MPs.

Immediately he was arrested, he had attempted to use a diplomatic passport he possessed as a Ghanaian MP to plead immunity, but the US government had brushed that antic aside.

Subsequently, in the process leading to his trial and sentence, President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was then the Attorney General in President John Agyekum Kufuor’s government, had done everything possible to relocate Amoateng’s trial from the US to Ghana. The US government had however held its grounds.

Upon his release in July, 2014, after completion of his 10-year sentence in the US, the NPP, which was then in opposition, had organized supporters to throng the Kotoka International Airport to give him a hero’s welcome. The narco ex-convict NPP MP had however been debriefed by the Narcotics Control Board, led by Yaw Akrasi-Sarpong, upon touching down at KIA. In the course of the debriefing, it came to light that he had even travelled back on a forged passport.

Eventually after an unsuccessful prosecution over the forged passport, he was freed, but then, in August 2014, stories emerged that all his assets had been confiscated by the state.

Adomfmonline, a news portal of Accra based Adom FM, had reported that Mr. Amoateng’s mother, Madam Yaa Gyamea, had wept bitterly over the confiscation of her son’s assets.

According to the report, in her moments of pain, the NPP had sent a leading member of the party, Kofi Arhin Sakyi, to console and comfort Mr. Amoateng’s mother and the rest of the family in their Nkoranza home.

Later in November 2014, however, deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga, had revealed that the government was still going through the process to confiscate the properties of Eric Amoateng. Somehow, the NDC never managed to confiscate the properties until NPP, a party which Amoateng is a respected bankroller, won the 2016 election.

It is while the Akufo-Addo government is yet to give any indication of intent to confiscate Eric Amoateng’s alleged ill-gotten properties from drugs that the same government has already confiscated and gifted out properties belonging to Nayele Ametefe, just some two years into her jailing in the UK.

The items, including furniture that was seized from Night Angels, a shop which belonged to Nayele, were on Wednesday morning presented to three centers at Korle Bu, Ashaiman and Medie.

Explaining the donations, Deputy Executive Secretary at NACOB, Michael Addo, had claimed that it was a show of NACOB’s resolve to make drug dealing unattractive.

“If you are arrested, you will not live to enjoy the proceeds of the crime that you have committed,” he had said.

The ruling NPP gave a hero’s welcome to Eric Amoateng from serving a 10-year jail term in the US in 2014, the same year Nayele was arrested in the UK. Mr. Amoateng still has his properties to his name.

Meanwhile, NACOB and the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) are still on course to confiscate two mansions belonging to Nayele Ametefe. The mansions are said to be located in Pease in the Ashanti Region and the highbrow East Legon area, in the national capital respectively.

In a legal tussle over the house, which is still pending in court, mother of Nayele Ametefe, Madam Akua Adubofour, has claimed that the houses rather belong to her and not her daughter.

In 2016, she had filed a suit at the Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court seeking to prevent NACOB and EOCO from confiscating the two houses.

But in a twist of events, the Head of Ratings at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Emmanuel Anerboye Abbey, who is a witness in the case, told the court in early June, this year that the East Legon house was registered in the name of Ruby Adu Gyamfi, aka Nayele Ametefe.

Mr. Abbey, who was giving his evidence–in–chief, stated that the AMA captured the said property on its valuation list in 2006.

“The property was finally registered in the name of Ruby in 2013. Therefore, per the rating list, the owner is Ruby,” he had said.

As Nayele Ametefe looks set to lose the fruits of her life’s sweat, her alleged mentor and guru, Eric Amoateng, looks set to keep all his ill-gotten properties from the same drug trade that is costing Nayele an arm and a leg.

Apparently in life, it is different strokes for different folks.



Source: Samuels

The Republic News Online

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