Law enforcement officers from agencies responsible for drug investigations in three ECOWAS countries have completed a week-long capacity building training-cum-operational activities in Benin, Togo and Ghana, during which some 74 drug traffickers were arrested while 7,894,275 kg quantities of different drugs were seized.
The combined events held between 23rd and 29th July 2012, involving a three-day training in Lomé, Togo, followed by three days of operations from 26th to 28th July in Togo, Benin and Ghana, and a day’s debriefing of the investigators, were funded by ECOWAS, with INTERPOL’s trainers and ECOWAS representatives participating as observers.
The operation, code-named “ATAKORA”, was launched with particular focus on drug trafficking at airports, sea ports and land borders in the three countries by engaging the 36 investigators and law enforcements officers in the respective countries
The breakdown of the seizures showed that Benin accounted for 376,675 kg of drugs, Ghana 24 kg and Togo 7,493,600 kg.
The operation was carried out within the framework of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Drugs and INTERPOL’s action in support of member countries from the African region, aimed at detecting and dismantling criminal organized networks using West Africa to traffic cocaine, heroin, cannabis and psychotropic substances.