Ghanaian-Austrian’s eight year drug sentence

Nayele Ametefe was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison on Tuesday morning, after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle in 12 kg of the 'purest cocaine ever seen' at Heathrow airport.

Ghanaian-Austrian's eight year drug sentence
Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu Gyamfi aka Angel. Photo:

The Ghanaian woman who also has Austrian citizenship pleaded with the court to be allowed to be deported to Austria, rather than Ghana, at the end of her sentence.  She said that if she was to be repatriated to Ghana, her safety could be jeopardized due to the high level of interest in the case there.

Presiding Judge Edmonds QC of the Isleworth Crown Court in Middlesex observed that the crime warranted 13 years for the sentence, but that he was considering mitigating factors presented by the defense.

The drugs were supposed to have a street value of 1.8 million pounds, and had a purity level of 79 percent, among the purest seen at the airport.

Court transcripts shed light on the circumstances leading to Ametefe's arrest revealing that Ametefe was given access to the Very Very Important Person (VVIP) lounge at Accra's international airport, which helped her move the contraband out of Ghana undetected. 

At least three security and civil service officials, who are said to have been complicit in the high-profile drug smuggling case, are currently on trial by Ghanaian authorities.

The defense claimed that  a 50-year-old woman hired his client for US$23,000 and a bonus of £6000 for the transaction of which she was arrested.

Ametefe, who also goes by the aliases Cleopatra, Angel and Ruby is rumored to have connections among Ghana's elite class including President John Mahama and his family. She has three children, aged 11, 13 and 16 years.

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Drug raid on Nigerian gang sees 50 arrests

Police in Vienna have arrested 50 people in connection with a Nigerian drug ring which operated in the Austrian capital.

Drug raid on Nigerian gang sees 50 arrests
File photo: Paul Gillingwater

Investigators said they had been on the trail of the gang for the past three years, and that in that time it has netted a profit of over €6 million. 

21 kilos of illegal drugs, mainly cocaine and heroin, were seized during raids on Thursday. However, police told a press conference on Friday that the gang would probably cut the drugs with other substances to increase the amount that could be sold on the street to around 100 kilos.

The drugs were mainly sold in Vienna by Nigerian dealers. Detective Georg Rabensteiner said that 100 kilos of drugs would “cover” demand in Vienna for a few months. 

Photo: LPD Wien

Police first became aware of the gang's existence at the end of 2012, when a Nigerian man was caught smuggling €250,000 in cash hidden within cars which were brought from Vienna to Nigeria. An investigation revealed that the money came from drug trafficking. Gang members regularly sent over large amounts of drugs to Austria via ten people who acted as drug mules. 

The couriers would swallow between one and one and a half kilograms of drugs, which were then sold in Vienna. Police said that the cocaine and heroin which was seized was 80 percent pure.