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Cablegate: Two Afghans Arrested in Narcotics Sting Operation

VZCZCXRO6632
OO RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAR #2244 2960725
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230725Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ACCRA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5570
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 0180
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0891
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0001

UNCLAS ACCRA 002244

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INL, DS/IP/AF, DS/ICI/CR, AF/FO AND AF/W; DEA
PLEASE PASS TO DEA WASHINGTON FIELD DIVISION; ROME FOR RD
BENSON; BRUSSELS FOR A/RD SCARANTINO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC SNAR PREL PGOV PINR GH AF
SUBJECT: TWO AFGHANS ARRESTED IN NARCOTICS STING OPERATION

REF: STATE 143215

1. (SBU) On October 22 in Accra, pursuant to a U.S.
request, the Ghana Police arrested two Afghan nationals,
Nasrullah Safiullah and Mohammad Ashraf Mohammad-Omar, for
conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin and import
it for sale in the U.S. During a long DEA undercover
operation,
Safiullah first met with two undercover DEA agents in Accra
and agreed to sell the agents 100 kilograms of heroin for
importation to and distribution in the U.S. at a cost of
USD 17,000 per kilogram. The estimated street value of the
heroin
is USD 30 million. After the first meeting, an undercover DEA
agent
traveled to Kabul to receive a sample of the heroin. On this
second trip to Accra, Safiullah, accompanied by
Mohammad-Omar, expected to
receive a 35 per cent down payment for the heroin while
Mohammad-Omar
planned to stay in Accra until the deal was completed.
Safiullah and
Mohammad-Omar are described as major suppliers of heroin and
they maintain
a laboratory in Afghanistan where they refine, process, and
convert raw
opium into heroin, as much as 500 kilograms a week, and
distribute the heroin to a network of international
customers.

2. (SBU) The suspects arrived in Accra from Dubai at 0600
on October 22. Upon arrival they entered through
Kotoka International Airport and were met by undercover DEA
agents. After they departed the airport, the suspects were
pulled over and arrested by Ghana Police officers. The
suspects were then taken to a holding facility in Accra
where they will remain until the Ghanaian government
formally expels them. (NOTE: Post delivered reftel diplomatic
note on October 16 to Secretary to the President who told us
the GOG would work with the U.S.G to expel the suspects. END
NOTE.)
After the expulsion, the suspects will be placed in U.S.
custody
and will return to the U.S. via commercial air to stand
trial.
Sealed warrants for the suspects, arrest were issued on
October 10
in the U.S.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: The suspects are among the biggest
narcotics dealers ever arrested in Ghana, as Ghana
typically focuses on couriers. The GOG was brought in on the
operation
late and only a limited number of top officials were informed
due to
security concerns. Many of the operational details were
handled directly by the Secretary to President Kufuor, to
avoid even the
slightest possibility of a tip off by anyone in the
Ghanaian government. The operation was a success and
the GOG has told us it plans to publicize the arrests.
Operationally, the Ghana Police officers involved in the
sting acted professionally and showed that, given the right
intelligence, and high-level support from the Government,
they are able to make
a dent in the ever increasing amount of narcotics transiting
Ghana. END
COMMENT.
BROWN

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