The Ghana Police Service and the Criminal Investigation Department are the main law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Ghana, and are responsible for the detection of crime, maintenance of law and order and the maintenance of internal peace and security.
The Ghana Police Service has eleven specialised police units including a Militarized Police Rapid deployment force (RDF) and Marine Police Unit (MPU). The Ghana Police Service operates in 12 divisions: ten covering the ten regions of Ghana, one assigned specifically to the seaport and industrial hub of Tema, and the twelfth being the Railways, Ports and Harbours Division.
The Ghana Police Service’s Marine Police Unit and Division handles issues that arise from the country’s offshore oil and gas industry.
The Ghana Prisons Service and the sub-division Borstal Institute for Juveniles administers incarceration in Ghana. Ghana retains and exercises the death penalty for treason, corruption, robbery, piracy, drug trafficking, rape, and homicide.
27 convicts (all men) were sentenced to death in Ghana in 2012 and the Ghana Prisons Service statistics of the total number of convicts sentenced to death in Ghana as at December 2012 was 162 men and 4 women, with a total prison inmate population of 13,983 convicts as at 22 July 2013.
“The new sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations call for the international community to come together to promote the rule of law; support equal access to justice for all; reduce corruption; and develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels.”
Ghanaian Drug War and the Narcotic Control Board
Ghana is used as a key narcotics industry transshipment point by traffickers, usually from South America as well as some from other African nations.
“West Africa is completely weak in terms of border control and the big drug cartels from Colombia and Latin America have chosen Africa as a way to reach Europe.”
There is not a wide or popular knowledge about the narcotics industry and intercepted narcotics within Ghana itself, due to the industry’s operations and involvement in the underground economy.
The social context within which narcotic trafficking, storage, transportation, and repacking systems exist in Ghana and the state’s location along the Gulf of Guinea within the Atlantic Ocean – only a few degrees north of the Equator – makes Ghana an attractive country for the narcotics business.
The Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) has impounded container ships at the Sekondi Naval Base in the Takoradi Harbour. These ships were carrying thousands of kilograms of cocaine, with a street value running into billions of Ghana cedis. However, drug seizures saw a decline in 2011.
Drug cartels are using new methods in narcotics production and narcotics exportation, to avoid Ghanaian security agencies.
Underdeveloped institutions, porous open borders, and the existence of established smuggling organisations contribute to Ghana’s position in the narcotics industry. John Atta Mills, president between 2009 and 2012, initiated ongoing efforts to reduce the role of airports in Ghana’s drug trade.