Early in 1997, Kwame Mainu returned to Warwick University from a trip to his native Kumasi, in Ghana, where he had helped to run a short course for small-scale industries at Kumasi University. Kwame was concerned that Ghanaian academics visiting Britain were being recruited as couriers by a Kumasi-based drugs cartel, so he had been accompanied by a British under-cover agent, Tam Gordon. In the course of his work with local engineering firms, Kwame discovered that machines were under construction for making hollow wooden coat hangers. He and Tam suspected that the coat hangers were to be used for concealing drugs and alerted the British authorities. Impressed with Kwame’s work, Tam suggested to his boss, Leon Thornet, that grassroots industrial development projects like Kwame’s could be adapted to function as an early warning system.
It was not until one evening in April that Tam called on Kwame at his home near Coventry. ‘I thought I might have seen the last of you,’ Kwame quipped. ‘Yes, it’s more than two months since we were in Ghana,’ Tam replied. ‘Leon doesn’t usually leave you undisturbed that long.’
As soon as they were settled Kwame continued, ‘I guess Leon was satisfied with your report and didn’t need to see me.’
‘He also realised how busy you were with Professor Arthur away.’
‘Was he happy with what we achieved?’
‘Leon? Oh yes, he feels things in Kumasi are pretty much cleared up for the moment.’
‘Did Peggy confirm linking Kojo Doe to Pastor Obeng-Mensah, Cecilia’s father?’
‘Yes, she did.’
‘He doesn’t think that Cecilia and her father pose much of a threat then?’
‘No, he agrees with me on that.’
‘What doesn’t he agree on?’
‘I can’t get him interested in my idea for an early-warning system.’
Kwame wanted to hear Leon’s reasons for turning down Tam’s idea before he expressed his own opinion. ‘Why doesn’t he like the idea?’ he asked. ‘He says that our methods of detecting hidden drugs are advancing quickly. Any early-warning system would become redundant before it could recover its start-up costs.’
‘How do you reply to that argument?’
‘Attached to a project like yours, I believe the costs could be affordable. It only needs some additional short-term training for the field workers and some funds for allowances and awards.’
‘Does he have an answer to that?’
‘He says that drugs do not come to the UK only from Ghana. To be really useful the system would need to be replicated in other countries, like Nigeria and Jamaica, where there are no projects like yours. That’s where the high cost comes in.’
‘What do you say then?’
‘I say that Ghana is typical of other developing countries in Africa and the Caribbean, and traffickers everywhere copy each other’s tricks. An early-warning system in one country is better that none at all.’
‘I’m sure Leon has the last word?’
‘Yes, he says you, Kwame, are a one-man detector; how do we know others could function as you do?’
يسعدنا زيارتكم صفحاتنا على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي حيث نقوم بنشر عروض حصرية على موقعنا الالكتروني.
صفحتنا علي الفيسبوك هنا.
حسابنا على تويتر هنا