UNODC supports the establishment of a new Drug Law Enforcement Unit in Ghana

     This activity was financed by the United States

UNODC has a Programme Office in Accra, Ghana since 2011 and is actively working with the country on a range of activities mainly aiming at supporting the law enforcement agencies in fighting transnational organized crime, and trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.  With the third largest cultivation of marijuana in the country, and sharing borders with five other regions in Ghana, the Eastern region avails many drug trafficking routes.   

In July 2018, UNODC refurbished and equipped a new Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) located in Koforidua, 55 km North of Accra, in the Eastern region. This new Unit was officially launched on 19 July to support the strengthening of the capacity of law enforcement agencies in Ghana in their fight against drug trafficking and related organized crime. This new DLEU unit is well located to serve the region and is expected to have a positive impact in countering the challenges faced in the Eastern region and its neighboring regions, namely drug trafficking and its associated crimes.

Funded by the United States Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), this new DLEU unit located in Koforidua will support DLEU officers in the region to investigate and prosecute drug trafficking offenses, which remain threats to security, rule of law and development of the country.

Map of Ghana

This initiative is part of the Technical Assistance Project to Ghanaian Authorities to Counter Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime, which was launched in 2016 in collaboration with UNODC and the Government of Ghana, and funded by INL. Implemented by UNODC, the project aims at supporting Ghana's national efforts in the fight against drug trafficking through the provision of training and equipment to the regional DLEUs, to effectively address the challenges posed by drug trafficking and organized crime in Ghana. The new DLEU unit is the first out of four (4) DLEUs scheduled to be established in four (4) regions (Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Northern, and Volta) of Ghana.

The new DLEU initially has eight (8) officers formally assigned to the unit. The assigned officers have completed both the Basic and Advance drug trafficking investigations courses, and have been equipped with the necessary tools and devices to enable them to tackle drug crime effectively.

The DLEU was officially established by the Commissioner of Police - Mr Prosper Agblor, Director General, Welfare of the Ghana Police Service and Mr Tom Lyons, Chief of the Political Affairs of the US Embassy; in the presence of representatives from UNODC, Ghana Law Enforcement Agencies and international representatives. Mr Lyons confirmed that: "Together with UNODC and  the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service, we made significant progress in enhancing the operational activities and the building of capacities of Ghana's Law Enforcement Agencies".  He added that "This new unit will be a real asset for the Ghanaian Police as they will be better equipped to counter the drug trade, and this will thus have a positive impact on justice in Ghana ".

This activity takes place under the framework of the Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020) and contributes to the achievement of the Goals 15 and 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

For more information:

The Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020)

UNODC and drug trafficking

UNODC launches an Investigations Handbook for Drug Law Enforcement in Ghana