In Heathrow Airport For Drug Trafficking
Impeccable Information available to The Herald, reveals that a Ghanaian Hotelier and businessman, has been busted at the world’s famous and busiest Airport, Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom (UK) on suspicion of drug trafficking and claims of money laundering.
The man whose name this paper will for now give as Kwadwo, is believed to be in his 50s.
Kwadwo is said to have been on the raider of the UK’s intelligence for years now, until he was finally busted recently at Heathrow Airport on arrival from some Asian countries, including China.
The hotelier, who is in the grip of the Scotland Yard, is said to have donated a whopping US$2 million to a presidential candidate of a respected political party, during the last general elections.
His arrest is similar to the operations of the US intelligence, which led to the arrest of the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, who is packing his belongings from an American jail, to be repatriated back to Ghana, this July.
The Herald’s independent checks on the background of the man, reveal he has a luxurious hotel, name withheld, and located at East Legon.
He is a friend to some respectable lawyers, football administrators, Sports Presenters, MPs and politicians.
In the case of Eric Amoateng, he was arrested in the United States of America (USA) on November 12, 2005.
He had travelled to the USA on an Emirates Airline flight to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with a friend, Nii Okai Adjei.
The trip was ostensibly to buy wrist watches for resale in Ghana with US$9,000 seized from Amoateng. Seven boxes of pottery which had landed at Newark Liberty International Airport from London, destined for JFK a day earlier were found to contain 136 pounds of heroin with a reported street value of the drugs was about US$6 million.
Amoateng and Adjei were monitored by security personnel as they took delivery of the cargo and sent it to an American Self-Storage location on Staten Island. They were arrested the next day when they went to inspect the goods. Amoateng apparently unsuccessfully claimed diplomatic immunity following his arrest. They were charged with “conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin”.
Eric Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics when brought to court. Adjei later changed his plea to guilty. Following this, a second charge was brought against Amoateng. In August 2006, a third charge of “distributing a controlled narcotic substance of about a kilogram or more containing heroin” was brought against Amoateng.
On March 19, 2007, Amoateng changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced on 12 December 2007 to 10 years in jail.
Following his arrest, there was a long debate as to whether Amoateng should still be held as the sitting MP for Nkoranza North. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Chief Whip, maintained that “until the case is disposed off he remains a suspect and that the allegation would have to be substantiated.”
While the majority leader in parliament announced that the government will hold the fort for the MP, the opposition insisted that a by-election be held to replace him. This went on for more than ten months. One of his sons, Augustine Akwasi Amoateng, defended his father’s innocence in April, 2006.
Amoateng eventually sent a letter of resignation around May 2006 to parliament but this was thrown out on procedural grounds.
The Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes, directed on January 30, 2007, that the question of Amoateng’s long absence from parliament be revisited. He however sent a resignation letter dated 4 February 2007 to the speaker of the Parliament of Ghana which was accepted.
By-elections were finally held on March 13, 2007, to replace Amoateng, 16 months after his arrest.
The seat was won by a retired army major, Derek Oduro who took the parliamentary oath on March 21, 2007.
He was born on February 19, 1953 and had his secondary education at Nkoranza Anglican School, Nkoranza, where he passed his O-levels. He then attended Nkoranza Training College, Nkoranza for his A-level education, completing in 1973.
He then attended the Nkoranza Teacher Training College, from where he qualified as a teacher. Years later, he attended the University of Ghana, obtaining a Diploma in religion in 1992.
Amoateng, initially worked as a teacher, then as marketing manager for Koajay company Ltd, which bought and distributed school supplies.
Amoateng, was also the chief of Amoma, a town in the Kintampo South District of the Brong Ahafo Region, with the title Nana Amoateng Ameyaw II. He is said to have spent lavishly on his people and earned a reputation for philanthropy.
Eric Amoateng, was unsuccessful in his bid to stand as the NPP Parliamentary candidate for the Nkoranza Constituency in 2000, amidst some controversy. Some were reportedly wary of his affluence. It is also reported that in 2001, Amoateng was once accused of visa fraud.
Amoateng, renounced his chieftaincy title in 2004 in order to stand in the December 2004 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NPP, adopting Bomini in the neighbouring Nkoranza North Constituency in the Nkoranza District, as his home town.
His candidacy for the Nkoranza North constituency was challenged at the Sunyani High Court in 2004, but the case was eventually withdrawn from the court.
He won 46.9 per cent of the votes, with a margin of 22.3 per cent to become the first ever MP for the newly created Nkoranza North constituency, from January 7, 2005, until his arrest in 2007.