NACOB clarifies ‘cocaine turns ephedrine’ case

The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has defended its test on a whitish powdery substance found on two Nigerians at the Kpeglo Border post last Friday.

According to NACOB, the test can be trusted, given that officials from the Standard Authority and the American Embassy were involved in the test.

This follows the Board’s claim that the whitish powdery substance is not cocaine but ephedrine.

“The standard authority and our counterparts from the American Embassy came around to do their further checks and it proved to be ephedrine. If these guys are on board, then there is no cause for alarm,” Public Relations Officer of NACOB, Nana Osei Nkwantabisa said in an interview on Eyewitness News on Thursday.

The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had earlier stated that a preliminary test it had done on the powdery substance indicated the stuff was cocaine.

However, the Head of the Enforcement Unit at NACOB, Mr Solomon Stanley Eyo, told the Daily Graphic in Accra on Wednesday, October 2, that as the state institution clothed with the law to conduct tests on suspected narcotic drugs, NACOB took centre stage in the investigations and found out that the substance was ephedrine.

Explaining what might have led the Customs officials to suspect that the substance was cocaine, he said: “It [substance] is whitish and powdery and I think that’s where the problem comes from; it’s not every white thing that is cocaine. We did run the tests on all the five bags and we concluded that they were ephedrine.”

Giving details of the suspects involved, Nana Osei Nkwantabisa said those arrested were Nigerian citizens pending further investigations.

“These are Nigerian citizens currently in our custody, pending further investigations, and there have been names given in Nigeria which have led to the arrest of one of them.”

Ephedrine is an odourless, white, powdered substance used in the preparation of legal drugs and also methamphetamine, a strong and highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system and which has no legal use.


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