Sad tale of Ghanaian journalist who left BBC for $162,000 drug job

Paa Joe Odonkor could have been the most revered Ghanaian journalist of all-time if he hadn’t abandoned a job with BBC for drug peddling.

He explained that the monies he used to receive from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a journalist was enough, but because he wanted to live an extravagant life, he needed other sources of income and to live that life style and the only way out was drug peddling.

“My first assignment as a drug dealer was an Indian hemp and I made $4,000 and my second trip I made $8,000 so I said to myself that I will do it on my own and not for others," Mr Odonkor got attached to the new business because it gave him what he wanted," said it in an interview with SVTV Africa.

After making some few trips as a drug dealer to places like Italy, USA and Switzerland he became rich

“I don’t take the taxi because I felt taking a taxi is a humiliation. I changed cars every two months… from Jaguar Xjs1, I brought Lincoln continental and the only car I never brought here was Bentley and Rolls Royce," he said.

With money coming in daily, Paa Odonkor was ushered into a highflying lifestyle.

"I’ve never flown on using Zongo [section] on an Air-craft before, not even Ghana Airways. I go with Swiss Air or Pan Am and always Business class," he said.

"I flew from Britain that is London to New York with Concord. I paid $4700 to go from London to New York which under normal circumstance if you go with VC10 or the Boeing 747 will take you about 6hours but with the Concord, it will take you three and half hours," he added.

But his life's second turn around after the first one at BBC was when he was arrested following a massive clamp down on drug lords in Africa.

“I was busted in March 1984 and that was the biggest catch of cocaine from the continent of Africa. I was arrested for carrying 142 tonnes of cocaine," he said.

Paa Joe stated that he was jailed for drug trafficking, after his passport had been confiscated and his great pain was that he was abandoned by friends, colleague journalists and women he used to hang out with, following his release from prison.

“I lost all my friends. As for the women, when you have the deeper pocket and have lots of dollars they call you honey but when you get broke and develop holes in your pocket, they make themselves conveniently unavailable… they vanish," the then BBC star said holding tears in the socket of his eyes.

He has opened up that he made several attempts to end his life yet they failed

“Your social life, your physical life is mostly destroyed when you are addicted to the heroine. I’m begging my listeners not to make the same mistakes I made," he said.

"I have seen women and slept with them at Grand Sheraton Hotel which I paid for $1500 a day. I have taken women to Venice too. I did all these just because I wanted to impress women. Yeah the women are just there because of your pocket," he added.

Paa Joe Odonkor said he has made several attempts to take away his life but all of them failed.

“I drove a car into a tree at Asylum down but it didn’t work. I also took 20grams of valium but I woke up earlier than I normally do. I said well stop fighting God," he said.

With a loving family and siblings who are well placed in society, the former journalist is on the path to building a new life for himself.

"My elder brother is a pilot with America Airways, the second one is an artist in the UK. I’ve one sister who is very famous, her daughter was Miss Ghana 2003 winner but then who wants her uncle to be like this," he said.


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