There is a thick air of uncertainty over the reported release of Eric Amoateng, the former NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nkoranza North constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The MP was arrested in the United States in 2007 for trafficking over 81 kilograms of heroin valued at $6million, but was reported to have been released and deported to Ghana on Tuesday.
However, family, friends and members of the NPP are worried because they cannot locate him.
‘We don’t have any informationNo NPP member is aware he is coming,’ a worried current MP for Nkoranza North, Major Derrick Oduro told DAILY GUIDE on Wednesday, a day on which Amoateng was expected to have landed.
‘I also picked the news from the media,’ Major Oduro added.
According to him, when news of his supposed release broke on Tuesday, the people of Nkoranza North were engulfed in excitement that he was coming, but the excitement quickly died down because ‘the people are uncertain’ about the whole issue.
The jailed MP’s family and friends are desperately searching for him following the media reports that claimed he was to be released from jail on Tuesday and immediately deported to Ghana, DAILY GUIDE gathered.
This paper has been unable to get details about the reported release.
Mr. Amoateng, with prison number 63765-053 and held at the maximum security Moshannon Valley Prison facility in Philsburg Pennsylvania, was said to have been released on Tuesday after fully serving his jail term.
Straight from prison, the United States Bureau of Prisons is expected to hand over Amoateng, 63, to law enforcement officers for deportation to Ghana.
He will also be banned from travelling to the United States as part of the terms of his release, DAILY GUIDE gathered.
Amoateng is known to have spent lavishly on his people, buying tractors to clear people’s farms and funding students on scholarships.
In the minds of the local people, he was a philanthropist and they are looking forward to his return.
‘People liked him, he wasn’t a bad manPeople are looking forward to meeting him. We don’t have any grudge to bear with him,’ Major Oduro told this newspaper.
On November 7, 2005, Amoateng, then a sitting MP, was said to have taken a three-week leave of absence. There were speculations that he claimed he was going to the United States to buy watches for one of his wives who owned and ran a boutique.
By November 22, it was confirmed that the MP had been arrested. He arrived at the JFK Airport in New York on a United Emirates Flight on November 8, where he met a friend- one Nii Okai Adjei, on the connecting flight from London to New York.
A day earlier, seven boxes of pottery had landed at Newark Airport from London, destined for JFK where the duo was supposed to pick them up.
Unknown to them, airport officials had found over 80 kilogrammes of heroin packed carefully inside the pots and were monitoring who came along to pick up the package.
Amoateng, Adjei and a third man, Gamelie Kuonoe, went to pick up the boxes at the storage facility on November 11 and were tracked down and arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
The drug kingpins were hauled before a US court and Judge David G. Tragger delivered the judgment on December 12, 2007, at a Brooklyn court, sentencing Amoateng to a 10-year jail term.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran
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