Parcels of cocaine taken to unknown destination - Witness
7/24/2012 6:30:23 AM -
Accra, July 23, GNA - Police Chief Inspector Charles Adama of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service on Monday stated that out of the 77 cocaine parcels on board the MV Benjamin, one was left behind and 76 of them taken to an unknown destination.
He said when Police personnel reached the Kpone Beach, they found the accused in a Toyota Land Cruiser giving instructions to some people, and they took photographs of all vehicles there.
Darkey, also known as Sherriff, a businessman, is on trial for conspiracy, importation of narcotic drugs, possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority, undertaking prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, and corruption of public officer.
He had pleaded not guilty and remanded into prison custody.
Four out of the six prosecution witnesses gave evidence in-camera while the other two witnesses had to testify in open court.
Chief Inspector Adama said investigations on the land cruiser revealed that it was registered in the name of the accused's elder brother, Evans Chawutey.
He said records available at the DVLA indicated that the original owner had transferred the vehicle to Unique Trust Financial Services in December 2005 as a collateral for a loan of GH¢25,000.
Witness said further investigations revealed that the loan from the financial company was to help the accused to purchase marine fuel. The loan was taken on December 21, 2005 to be paid later on May 4, 2006.
Chief Inspector Adama said his investigations on a saloon car at the beach revealed that the owner was Mr J.P. Parkson.
He said the accused was also the Managing Director of Attiko Fishing Company, and tendered in evidence the certificate of incorporation and the certificate to start business.
On April 26, 2006, intelligence gathered by the security indicated that a shipping vessel, MV Benjamin, carrying about 77 parcels of cocaine was on the high seas heading towards the West African Coast, specifically Ghana.
Around midnight the same day, the vessel docked at Tema/Kpone and discharged the parcels, which were off-loaded into a waiting vehicle and taken away.
Investigations led to the arrest of some people, who were tried and convicted.
During the trial, the name of the accused featured prominently as the importer and owner of the parcels.
Further investigations revealed that he chartered the vessel for 0,000 to bring another vessel carrying the narcotic drugs from Guinea, which were off-loaded onto MV Benjamin on the high seas, and the name of the vessel changed.
The accused allegedly carted the parcels from the vessel on its arrival at Kpone, and influenced some security personnel to prevent them from arresting him.
On Thursday, February 2, the accused was arrested at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital upon a tip-off.